Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2013, 7:42 pm
Q-C music man conducting 'Fiddler' national tour
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By Jonathan Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Danny White is just 25, but he's already made it in Hollywood -- Florida, that is.
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Photo: Todd Welvaert|
Tristan Tapscott and Danny White look over sheet music for a new musical version of 'A Christmas Carol' at The District Theatre, 1611 2nd Ave., Rock Island.
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."