Before taking the Fox Theatre stage with the U.S. National Tour of Les Misérables, Encore Atlanta caught up with Georgia native Monté J. Howell to learn about his Atlanta roots, his dream role, and life on tour.
Encore Atlanta: Where did you grow up?
Monté J. Howell: Duluth, Georgia
EA: What high school did you attend?
MJH: Peachtree Ridge High School
EA: Of all your Atlanta productions, which was your favorite? Why?
MJH: My favorite Atlanta production that I performed in would have to be Ragtime at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Ragtime was my first production as an Atlanta actor and I made several friends who’ve become family over the years. It was a successful production and a nice introduction to the scene. That production is tied with Shrek at the Alliance Theatre!
EA: Is there an Atlanta theatre that you haven’t worked with, but would like to?
MJH: Atlanta has so many wonderful theatres and creatives. It’s hard to choose one! I’d like an opportunity to work with Brian Clowdus at Serenbe Playhouse. He’s so creative! City Springs Theatre Company is also on my list! They’re a newer operation and I enjoy working with Brandt Blocker, their Artistic Director!
EA: What is the best part of performing with the Les Misérables national tour?
MJH: My favorite part of performing on the Les Misérables national tour is… Truly, this job is a dream come true!
EA: What is the hardest part of performing with the Les Misérables national tour?
MJH: I find the hardest part of you tour is being away from the people I love. However, my cast mates have become family.
EA: What advice would you give to aspiring thespians and performers?
MJH: I’d tell any aspiring performer to remember why they perform and to invest in learning their craft.
EA: If you could play any role in any show, what would it be?
MJH: If I could play any role in any show, it would HAVE to be Harold Hill in The Music Man.
EA: Who is your theatre role mode or icon?
MJH: I have learned from and been inspired by too many performers to count, but the person who still influences me the most is Norm Lewis! He’s played many of my favorite roles, his sound is so smooth, and his career has opened several doors for performers of color.
Header photo by Matthew Murphy.