Monday, May 23, 2022

Major Attaway’s Genie Plays a Part in Black History Month on Broadway

Major Attaway as the Genie in “Aladdin.” (Matthew Murphy Photo)

*Disney on Broadway is celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting their performers. Cast members will be showcased here in a series of EURweb Disney on Broadway stories.

EUR asked MajorAttaway, who plays the Genie in “Aladdin,” what role his Genie plays in Black History. Well, the the version of the genie that I play is based off of Fats Waller and Cab Calloway.

“The original design of the Genie character was when Robin Williams played him,” he explained. “I don’t do what  Robin does. He’s  was a standup comedian. “I get to be the song and dance man on the oldest stage on Broadway where Stepin’ Fetchit performed but couldn’t even come in the front door at that time.

“And so, every once in a while I meet a certain person [someone black] at the stage door who will say, ‘thank you because I haven’t seen someone like me up there.’ Not only that, but I’m the first one, the first voice. I’m the first face that anybody sees when they come in to see ‘Aladdin.’  So I have to represent and understand that not only am I giving them their first Broadway moment, but a lot of them their first live performance memory.”

Major Attaway at Milk Studios in NY. (MMoore Photo)

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Attaway made his Broadway debut in “Aladdin.” Prior to “Aladdin,” he appeared in “Ragtime,” “Big River,” “The Mikado,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,” and “Rent.”

Attaway, excited about the new “Aladdin” film being released, was asked what pointers he would’ve given Will Smith?

“I would’ve loved to have met him and had him watch my performance. That would’ve been awesome.  Other than that, I’m just excited that you just mentioned my name and his name in the same breath.”


Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.




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