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James Monroe Iglehart’s Genie Rap in “Friend Like Me” is Certifiably Awesome

James Monroe Iglehart is an absolute delight. The Tony Award-winning actor, who portrays the boisterous, lovable Genie in Broadway’s Aladdin, has been unknowingly preparing for this role for years: As a teenager, he was a huge fan of the movie, the TV show, and even the live show at Disney California Adventure. The lifelong Disney fan and self-professed Disney nerd says he “knows the show like the back of his hand,” and it’s evident from the confidence and exuberance he brings to the role. When we went to shoot the Aladdin Disney Sessions in New York, we were promised a special surprise in James’ rendition of “Friend Like Me.” Then, before his performance, we sat down with him to chat about his Broadway career. In the interview, he mentioned that he was a member of a freestyle hip-hop improv group with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, and Christopher Jackson, from Hamilton and In the Heights. James also hinted that he would be throwing in a special surprise in the Disney Sessions version of “Friend Like Me”—something fans have never seen him do in the Aladdin show. Watch his performance and get ready for his punch, pizzazz, yahoo, and how:

 

 

Don’t forget to check out Jonathan Freeman’s Villains Medley and a cute duet of “Thinking Out Loud” with Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed.

Posted 4 years Ago
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