Noticing that this month is Black National Month, I decided to bring up some of the black actors I saw. That is specifically referring to the ones I saw in person. Crazily enough, most of them have played the same part.
Nia Hallloway (Nala)
I saw her in in Lion King back in 2018. I loved her as Nala, and her talent really showed during “Shadowland”. I was able to see how strong of a character Nala is. Obviously, a lot of my ensemble was black.
Treston Henderson (Cructie)
He was my Crutchie during my 2nd visit with Newsies, which was Central Piedmont Community College. I loved that he was black. Based on the review, he impressed me during “Letter From the Refuge). It was seen the same year I saw Lion King.
Talia Simone Robinson (Eponine)
When I saw her as Eponine, she was the understudy. Due to that, I was able to appreciate her and enjoy her performance. Based on my review, she was playful and flirty around Marius, and the heartbreak she was feeling. It took a little of time till she embodied the character, and I believe her Eponine got stronger- in some ways it showed how strong of a character Eponine is. I actually remembered that it took effort to move during “A Little Fall of Rain”- so believable. I don’t know how I could have heard this, but at the end of “On My Own”- I could hear a tear. Talia was in my favorite three Eponine actresses for some time until Paige took over.
Paige Smallwood (Eponine)
She was with the US Tour eventually. While I still had five actors playing the same parts, it was interesting having a different Eponine. That was due to both Jillian and Joshua- stayed in the tour as Cosette and Marius since the beginning. So seeing a different actor was interesting- wondering if one actor could change the love triangle by possibly a little or a lot. This time, I wasn’t seeing an understudy, but treated Talia the same.
I was in tears during her “On My Own”. She was even believable during “A Little Fall of Rain”- based on nonverbal and her voice. In my opinion, she was stronger than then Talia, and that wasn’t because Paige was NOT an understudy. If I had done that, it wouldn’t have been fair.
Kayla Ferguson (Eponine)
She was my first stage Eponine. I barely remember her Eponine. She played the part at Central Piedmont Community College. I believe I called her a solid Eponine. I think her strongest moment was at “A Little Fall of Rain”.
Crazy how a lot of these actors played Eponine. Black actors deserve to be on stage. I hadn’t seen many black actor plays any of the lead characters.