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The genie’s wish to rule the theater stage comes true, after all
Korie Lee Blossey stars in Disney's 'Aladdin'
 
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:40 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | DISNEY
Korie Lee Blossey is Genie in the stage performance of  Disney’s “Aladdin.”
 

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The story of a son striving to make his mother proud resonates with Korie Lee Blossey.


While Jill Blossey, his mother, will not see him assume the role of Genie on Sept. 10 in Charlotte in Disney’s “Aladdin,” he has felt her presence since being cast as the original standby for Genie and Sultan in the show’s North American tour in 2017. The North American tour of Disney’s “Aladdin” runs at Belk Theater Sept. 10-29. The Broadway production will also see a change in the title role. Jonah Ho‘okano replaces Clinton Greenspan, and Blossey succeeds Major Attaway, whose final performances are scheduled for Sept. 7 in Washington, D.C.


Jill died in 2013 from hardened arteries brought on by a car accident a few years earlier.


Blossey described the show as a “Broadway wow,” particularly as it relates to an early number, “Proud of Your Boy.”


“There’s a time when you’re switching from ‘Arabian Nights,’ and you’re getting ready for the Genie,” Blossey said. “The makeup is on. The costume is on, and Aladdin is singing a song called ‘Proud of Your Boy’ to his mother, who has passed away. For me, that is similar to my story, because my mother passed away, and my mother was my biggest supporter. You hear him say, ‘I’ll make you proud, Mom.’ For me just to look in the mirror, it’s like, ‘we did it. Let’s go do this. You get out on stage, and it’s just so overwhelming, and it’s such a joy to have that moment on stage. I always wanted to have this moment, and now it’s here.’”


Blossey moved to New York City from Bay City, Michigan in 2003 to pursue an acting career.


“I decided I was going to move to New York, and make it,” Blossey said.


He got sick within his first few days there, to the point that he was unable to leave his apartment.


“When I started to get better, I was like, ‘all right, first things first, I have to get a job,’” Blossey said. “I waited tables, I bartended, and I was like, ‘I just have to audition.’ Then I just started pounding the pavement—making mistakes, singing the wrong songs, not really knowing the brand I was selling in the room. You learn from the last audition and you just get better, and you start to realize the brand that you’re trying to sell.”


Then came “Aladdin,” which made its Broadway debut in 2014. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards, with James Monroe Iglehart earning a Tony for his rendition of the Genie. His performance had a profound impact on Blossey.


“I was doing a show in Brooklyn, and it was the night of the Tonys, and ‘Aladdin’ was performing the year they opened, and I was like, ‘I’m going to do that,’ but before I could finish thinking ‘I’m going to do that,’ everybody was calling me thinking that I was James Monroe Iglehart performing on the Tonys,” Blossey said. “I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure if I was performing at the Tony’s everyone would know.’ People started confusing me for him, and I was like, ‘I have to play the role.’”


Blossey religiously studied to make it happen.


“It’s not just standing on stage and singing,” Blossey said. “You have to be able to sing, dance and act, but all the hard work and nitty gritty that has gone into it, that’s just a small part.”


When his agent called him to share the news that he got the part, all Blossey could do was pace around his apartment.


“My agent asked if I was sitting down, and I said, ‘absolutely, I’m actually laying down, I just woke up,’” Blossey said.


When he heard that the part was his, he shot up out of bed.


“I just stood in the middle of the room,” Blossey said. “I thought I should do something, but I just paced in a circle in the middle of the room, and just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I start as the Genie, the first show in Charlotte. Fortunately, I’ve been able to go on as the standby. I’ve done close to 100 performances. To know that I’m actually playing the role now, to become one of the handful of Genies that are out there, that’s an incredible feeling. It’s such a brotherhood. I have met almost all of the other guys who played the Genie, except for other countries. It’s such a unique bond. Each Genie adds a little bit of their own personality to it, and the joy and the honor of their only being a handful of them who have played this role, it’s such an honor.”


Blossey feels a deeper connection to the characters because of the connection to his mother.


“It is a moving story about a son wanting to make his mother proud,” he said. “That actually helps me understand Aladdin more and appreciate trying to make Aladdin happy, and trying to help him.”


It is the same story, with a few theatrical twists.


“There are a couple of numbers that may have been cut from the animated film,” Blossey said. “You get that moment to get closer to Aladdin and understand what he is really about.”


In addition to the animated film and Broadway production, “Aladdin” was also turned into a live-action film, which hit theaters earlier this year.
“It makes you feel like everybody is 5 years old,” Blossey said. “It gives you that great feeling of wonder, and ‘I’m in the city with them. I’m in the marketplace with them.”


The 1992 animated film speaks for itself.


“It was so captivating,” Blossey said. “I would watch it over and over and over and over again. Before going to school, I would be up in the morning trying to watch ‘Aladdin.’ After I came home from school, I would be trying to watch ‘Aladdin.’ As I became an adult, people were like, ‘you should be the Genie for Halloween,’ or ‘you should be the Genie for this Disney party.’ Once the musical came out, it was like, ‘now I have to be the Genie.’”


On the Net:


www.blumenthalarts.org/events/detail/aladdin

Comments

Korey, I love you. You're a Savage making boss moves. I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work. I miss your sassy face !
Posted on September 10, 2019
 
Korie, I'm so happy to see you living your dream, you've worked so hard to be where you're at today. Keep going bud because when you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life. I see big things in your future, keep rubbing the lamp. Xoxo
Posted on September 7, 2019
 
Way to go Korie !! I always knew you'd make it big one day !! Aunt Jill was one heck of a lady and one hell of a mother! I love you and Wow look at you go !!! You come a long way baby ?
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
What a wonderful tribute to you mom, and so close to her birthday. So happy for you to be livi g your dream. She would be all smiles and so very proud. Congratulations
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
Korie had "it" with his first step on the boards.
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
I was neighbors with Korie while he was growing up. Korie is a wonderful person and very talented. You'll go a long way. Keep trying for more. Bay City loves you.
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
We are so proud of you, I'm so happy that your living your dream?
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
Your momma would be so proud she is with u everyday !!! You made it baby we are all so proud of u !!!
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
Congratulations to you Korie! What a beautiful story... so happy for you! So proud of you for following your dreams!! ??
Posted on September 6, 2019
 
This is amazing Korie! We (Dad) and I are so proud of you! Can't wait to see you when you come to Lansing! ??
Posted on September 6, 2019
 

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