5 Questions from Over the Pond: Aladdin's Michael James Scott & Trevor Dion Nicholas
Genies collide in this month's edition of "5 Questions from Over the Pond"...
We're stepping onto a magic carpet and taking you to the shining, shimmering, splendid world of Agrabah for this month's edition of "5 Questions from Over the Pond," coupling Broadway's brand new Genie Michael James Scott and the West End's long-time resident wish-granter Trevor Dion Nicholas - standout stars of Disney's hit musical Aladdin!
As the first look of Hollywood Heavyweight Will Smith's blue-skinned Genie (revealed in a recent trailer for the upcoming live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic) continues to make viral waves, we thought we'd jump on the "Genie Bandwaggon" and give the current Broadway and West End genies the opportunity to ask each other any five questions of their own choosing.
The Disney Theatrical casts are akin to a global family who regularly visit each other and share talent, both domestically and internationally. Case in point, Michael James Scott, a Baltimore, Maryland native, first joined the Disney family in 2006 during the Broadway premiere of Tarzan and would eventually join the original Broadway company of Aladdin in 2014 as a standby for the role of Genie (played by Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart) at New York's New Amsterdam Theatre. In 2017, he then found himself winning a Helpmann Award for "Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical" as the original Australian premiere's Genie, opening in Sydney in August 2016. Leaving the land Down Under in December 2017, he took up the role in the show's North American Tour from January to August 2018, before hopping on a plane to merry old England and starring in the West End's production during August and September 2018. Finally, another wish would come true when he joined the Broadway company as the show's full-time Genie on February 15, 2019, and Mr. Scott is currently scheduled to delight New York audiences through to September 15, 2019. That's a whole lof of "Arabian Nights"!
On the other side of our Disney coin, Trevor Dion Nicholas could also be considered a Disney veteran by now. Like Mr. Scott, he also first joined the ranks of Aladdin as the standby for Genie, serving in the Broadway company from March 2015, but his big break came as Disney decided to cast him as London's original Genie in the West End premiere from May 2016 at the Prince Edward Theatre. Mr. Nicholas was propelled into West End stardom and will continue to delight the Brits until the London production closes at the end of August this year to make way for the West End return of Mary Poppins this fall. He also relished starring in the show's North American Tour in August and September of 2018, whilst Mr. Scott did the honors in the UK.
Undoubtedly these two incredibly talented actors have shared very similar paths in recent years and we wouldn't be surprised if they both remained firm fixtures in the Disney Theatrical family for many years to come.
Anyone who has seen Disney's Aladdin could argue that Genie is the adrenaline-infusing, beating heart of the musical, as well as an instant crowd-pleasing fan favorite and a rare Broadway role where ad-libbing is actively encouraged. His "bromance" connection to the title character is a cornerstone of the story, running parallel to the romantic arc with Princess Jasmine, and his "Friend Like Me" musical number continues to be heralded as one of the biggest showstoppers currently seen on the Great White Way.
So, without further ado, check out Broadway's brand new Genie Michael James Scott's answers to 5 questions from his West End counterpart:
1) Trevor: What are the three albums to have with you on a deserted island? Allow me to rephrase; three albums you’re stuck in the lamp with?
Michael: 1. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill"
2. Beyonce’s "Lemonade"
3. Kirk Franklin’s "Losing My Religion"
2) Trevor: Does your hair grow back in fully week to week and need re-shaved or is it just me?
Michael: I have an every other day shaving regiment. It grows back very fast and putting that make up on that stubble ain’t pretty… (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
3) Trevor: As you know, we Genies have a tendency to ad-lib a bit from time to time. Do you remember a time you’ve accidentally made yourself laugh with something you’ve added?
Michael: Absolutely!!!!! I remember a joke that we were playing around with in Australia and it just wasn’t quite landing, so I did a little ad-lib and literally forgot what I was trying to say and basically made 3 different jokes at the same time… It was AMAZING to me, and I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous it was.
4) Trevor: What’s your rough estimate of how many buckets full of glitter you’ve had sprinkled over your head by now?
Michael: 84 thousand tons!!!
5) Trevor: Personally I save all my fun/naughty calories for after the show to avoid any tummy discomfort or gaseous mishaps on stage. What’s your favorite indulgent post-show snack or meal?
Michael: Fried Chicken and Champagne!
Check out Michael James Scott's 5 questions for Trevor Dion Nicholas on our London Theatre Guide sister site!
Disney's Aladdin Tickets are available now.
(Photos by Deen van Meer)