The Lion King Croons at the Metropolitan Room

 

 

Reviewed by: Paulanne Simmons

 

 

Alton Fitzgerald White’s show at Metropolitan Room, “Can’t Wait for Christmas,” featured a good number of Christmas songs, but the show also included several songs from his new album, Disney: My Way! Whether White is singing “What Child Is This?,” “Holy Night” or “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” his own interpretation of “Whole New World,” and “Feed the Birds,” or, of course, “They Live in You,” his warm, melodious voice sends shivers up the spine.

A singer, actor and dancer who has starred in such Broadway roles as John in “Miss Saigon,” Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime: The Musical,” Mufasa in “The Lion King” and Mister in “The Color Purple,” White also has a personal charm and a million-dollar smile that serves well in intimate venues like the Metropolitan Room.

Just as important, White knows how to make contact with his audience. He understands humans in all their strengths, weaknesses and strivings. When he talks about those days “you do your best and it’s still not good enough” but you believe in a dream and “the best gifts come from suffering,” we tend to believe him.

White was accompanied by Yolanda Wyns, whom he met when both were performing in “The Color Purple.” Wynn not only provided backup vocals, she also sang solo, most particularly her own “Many Faces.” Wynn clearly deserves her own show, and only a performer with the supreme confidence of White would not be threatened by letting her take over the stage. Bravo!

The holiday season is a time for warmth and good cheer, both of which White and Wynn joyously delivered at the Metropolitan Room.

 

 

 

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