A Bay Area actor has won his first Tony Award.
Cal State East Bay alum James Monroe Iglehart, who won Best Performance Featuring an Actor in a Musical for his part as the electric Genie in ``Aladdin,'' was destined for show business but fought the impulse. His mother is a retired music teacher, his dad was an actor in the 1970s and an aunt was a dancer.
Some of Iglehart’s fondest memories are watching ``Singing in the Rain'' or ``Cabin in the Sky'' as a kid. By high school, he gave up and embraced his skills.
During his senior year at California State University, he auditioned for a swing role in a tour of ``Showboat'' and got it, not knowing what a swing does. He later was a replacement in ``The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'' on Broadway and a longtime star in ``Memphis.''
A Disney and comic book fan, Iglehart is also a member of the improv hip-hop act Freestyle Love Supreme.
Iglehart was raised in Hayward along with his two brothers and a sister. The first roles of his career were in performances at the American Musical Theatre in San Jose and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto.