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Cracking the Code

Cracking the Code: Tony Winner Lillias White Shares Insight Into Her Characters From Dreamgirls, The Life, How to Succeed and Once On This Island

January 23rd, 2019 by

joshferri JoshuaFerri Share
Cracking the Code: Tony Winner Lillias White Shares Insight…

Tony Award winner Lillias White returns to The Green Room 42 on Valentine’s Day (February 14) with her brand-new concert I’m Getting ‘Long Alright

, a powerful exploration of self-love through soul, sass, and song. And if you know Lillias, you know she’s going to blow the roof off the swanky midtown venue for the annual anniversary show of The Green Room.

BroadwayBox caught up with Lillias for our newest feature called Cracking the Code, in which actors share with us (and future actors playing these roles in schools, tours, community theatres, etc!) some advice and insight they learned from the characters on their resumes.

Effie White in Dreamgirls


To play this role, take your vitamins, get plenty of sleep, drink tons of water, and make sure you warm-up well (both body and voice!) Insight into the character—I would reach into the worse hurt you’ve ever had emotionally and draw from that.

Asaka in Once On This Island


Warm-up your hips so you can swirl them around, and pay attention to your center and your heart. When playing her think of the joy of life and living. The wonder of plants and animals. And the beauty of the moon.

Miss Jones in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying


The physicality of this character is very important. She is an Executive Secretary—very no-nonsense and not particularly warm. So, her posture is very straight and strong. Her hair is wound up tight and every hair is in place. But by “Brotherhood of Man” she softens and opens herself up to be exposed as a really groovy chick.

Sonja in The Life


Sonja leads with her crotch. That’s her money-maker. She’s fluid, she’s accessible, but she has a heart of gold. In approaching this character, think of her as a girl who grew up with great parents and great family values but took a wrong turn. And sing from your “down-there” if you know what I mean!

For all of these characters, don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on it. Make sure you write a character biography for all of them—who they are, where they came from, how they grew up, and what they want. There are places inside all of us where we can find these characters and bring them to life. 

Spend your Valentine’s Day with Lillias White in “I’m Getting ‘Long Alright” at The Green Room 42.