Q-C music man conducting 'Fiddler' national tour


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Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2013, 7:42 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
Danny White is just 25, but he's already made it in Hollywood -- Florida, that is.

The tireless piano player, composer and music director is the new conductor for the national tour of "Fiddler on the Roof," the current leg of which opened on Sunday night in West Palm Beach and played on Monday in Hollywood, Fla.

The Prather Entertainment Group tour of the classic 1964 musical came to the Adler Theatre in Davenport last Nov. 18.

"There are people who worked with Circa who are in this show and suggested me to the music director here," Mr. White said on Monday. At Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, he has directed music for "A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline" and "Plaid Tidings" (in which Mr. White also performed on stage).

A week ago, the Bettendorf High and University of Northern Iowa alum moved to work with "Fiddler" at the Prather dinner theater in Fort Myers, Fla., before it started traveling.

Mr. White plays keyboards for the tour, leads the five-member band and controls pre-recorded tracks from a laptop.

A frequent music director and keyboard player for The District Theatre (and former Harrison Hilltop), Mr. White premiered his first original musical, "A Christmas Carol," at the District last December.

He's also performed in and/or music directed shows for Quad City Music Guild, Countryside Community Theatre, Green Room Theatre and Circa cabarets at The Speakeasy. Mr. White also acted in last fall's "The Best Man" at The District Theatre.

"Fiddler" is not the first national tour he's done. Between September 2011 and August 2012, Mr. White was associate conductor and keyboard player for 279 performances in the Broadway tour of "Shrek," which traveled North America and then was extended for five weeks in Shanghai and Malaysia.

Mr. White said he's playing more for "Fiddler" than he did for "Shrek," for which he also ran orchestra-sweetening software from a laptop. "I have a lot more pull in the music, in control," he said of the current tour. "I can be more musical; I'd say it's a step up."

Despite its enormous popularity, "Fiddler" is "oneof those shows I didn't enjoy or get into before," Mr. White said. "Now that I'm part of it, I see it for what it's worth. There are great things happening in the music, in the scenes, its historical value."

Set in 1905 Tsarist Russia, the universal story of love and acceptance centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish traditions in the face of strong outside influences.

During the next two months, Mr. White will criss-cross the country, gradually heading to California and then back to the East Coast, before ending the tour on April 21 in Springfield, Mass.

He said he really enjoys traveling and seeing the country, and "Fiddler" will definitely help him get more major music jobs in the future. "My highest level of music direction was the regional level at Circa, so this is a big step up from that, I think."


















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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