“There’s a palpable sense of energy that radiates from Lillias White even when she is standing still, and when you mix that energy with her gifts as an actor and singer—including that explosion of voice—thrilling moments ensue.
A Tony winner for her performance in The Life, White has a gift for the comedic but is equally wonderful with the dramatic. She also starred on Broadway in Barnum, Dreamgirls, Cats, Once On This Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago, and Fela!, provided the voice for the muse Calliope in the 1997 Disney hit Hercules, and appeared Off-Broadway in Texas in Paris; While I Yet Live; The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Crowns; Dinah Was; and Romance in Hard Times. Possessing one of the most phenomenal belts in the business, one of the many reasons that make White’s singing so enjoyable—apart from the sheer power of her tone and her investment in each lyric—is her skillful use of riffs. Unlike so many of today’s pop singers, however, White doesn’t riff every other note; she uses them sparingly, and in doing so, makes her interpretations that much more effective. Music simply lives within her, and how lucky we are that she has shared it with audiences for decades.
As Broadway remains temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like a great time to look back at the career of this stellar artist.”
PRODUCTION PHOTO LIBRARY
A Little Imagination
13 Must-Watch Lillias White Videos
Lillias White: Divine Sass, A Tribute to The Divine One – Sarah Vaughan
Divine Sass takes you on a journey through the life, times, and music of “the Divine One,” Sarah Vaughan, from her remarkable win at the world-famous Apollo Theater Amateur Night contest to her collaborations and tours with some of the most renowned musicians who’ve ever graced a stage, to her legendary appearances at Carnegie Hall. This show features music created by Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstein, Erroll Garner, George Gershwin, and Vaughan herself. Audiences will enjoy tunes she made popular, like “Misty,” “The Man I Love,” and “If You Could See Me Now,” among many others. This tribute is a labor of love, as Ms. White finds The Divine One worthy of honor and fond remembrance. Enjoy Divine Sass!
54 Below – MAY 26 – 28, 2022
The Tony-winning stage veteran will be the first female-identifying actor to play the mythical character.
Tony Award winner Lillias White has been announced as the next Hermes in Hadestownon Broadway. She begins her run Tuesday, September 13, and will be the first female-identifying actor to play Hermes in the acclaimed musical. André De Shields originated the role on Broadway, earning a Tony Award for his performance. T. Oliver Reid, who is currently performing the role, will depart the show on Sunday, September 4.
This eight-time Tony-winning Best Musical has been bringing audiences way down to Hadestown since 2019. This show retells the classic Greek myths of the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice, and Hades and Persephone, with a stirring folk and jazz score. But don’t worry if you didn’t pay attention during your mythology lesson in high school, our critic notes in a four-star Hadestown review: “Going to hell has never been as much fun as seeing a performance of AnaÃ¯s Mitchell’s musical Hadestown, now playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre. And don’t let its origins in Greek mythology scare you off because there’s a built-in narrator in the form of the god Hermes.”
“Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin said the following regarding White’s casting: “I’m over the moon about Lillias stepping into this role. She’s a total legend, has an earth-shattering voice, and will bring grace and warmth to the role that is completely her own. Hadestown is a myth, and so we’ve always felt these characters can mold whoever is playing them and take on new life and meaning with each new actor/spirit… Like the Greek gods themselves, our actors change shapes, size, color, tonality, and vibe, and doesn’t it make the world more delightful.”