Local actor remembers that time when he shared Bass Hall stage with future Tony winner!

When we heard local actor ‎Dennis Yslas had shared the stage – OUR stage, as a matter of fact – with recent Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart, we just had to ask Dennis: “What was it like?”

In today’s blog post, Dennis tells us. Take it away, Dennis!

In 2007 I had the pleasure of doing a production of SHOW BOAT at Bass Hall produced by Casa Manana and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. I was lucky enough to be one of the members of the ensemble in this production. The show was pretty amazing – it is rarely done because of the complexity of the music and the subject matter. Playing the role of “Joe” was none other than James Monroe Inglehart, who won a Tony Award on Sunday night for his role as the Genie in ALADDIN.

The cast of SHOW BOAT, featuring  The cast of SHOW BOAT, featuring James Monroe Inglehart, top third from right, and Dennis Yslas, second from bottom, left.
The cast of SHOW BOAT, featuring James Monroe Inglehart, top third from right, and Dennis Yslas, second from bottom, left.
James is one of the most likable guys – he walks around with a big smile on his face. When he met me we realized we had a few friends in common and we connected quickly. Everyone in the cast enjoyed James and his loud booming laugh! He greets people with a big bear hug and at over six feet tall, you are enveloped in his hug! Right after SHOW BOAT he was heading to New York City to make his Broadway debut in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE as a replacement. He had done that show in Los Angeles and was excited to be making his Broadway debut. He has also done MEMPHIS on Broadway.

I am not surprised he has garnered a Tony Award – the man is crazy talented. I have been performing for over 35 years now and few moments stand out as amazing. Hearing James sing “Ole Man River” was truly one of those moments. I remember hearing him sing the song for the first time in rehearsal and I was in awe.

ALADDIN on Broadway also has a Dallas actor that has performed at Bass Hall a few times – Brian Gonzales. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas but worked at Bass Hall for quite a few shows.

It’s always nice to see them on stage and – say they’ve performed on the Bass Hall stage – with me. 😉

Dennis Yslas is a Fort Worth-based actor; Actors’ Equity Liaison Chair for the DFW area; and a customer service representative for the Fort Worth Opera.

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