This year’s Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s Christmas concert includes several stars to commemorate the season.

An intriguing addition to the concert is Michael Maliakel, who currently plays Aladdin on Broadway. Additional guest stars include Lesley Nicol, who played Mrs. Patmore in “Downton Abbey.”

A preview of the concert can be seen on PBS.org which includes scenes from the 2022 concert.

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Who is Michael Maliakel?

Known for his acting and singing on Broadway, Maliakel (pronounced, “Molly-uh-kell”) has also played in several musicals and sang in concerts across the country.

He’s a trained baritone who studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, per the Seattle Times.

“I didn’t really see a lot of people doing what I wanted to do in the world,” he told the Times. “There just wasn’t a whole lot of representation. So it’s really hard to imagine yourself in those scenarios when you have no one to look up to as a role model or an example of how it could be done.”

Maliakel is married to his wife, Sarah Maliakel. They welcomed a new member to their family in May 2022 when their little girl Nina was born.

Where is Michael Maliakel from?

Maliakel told the South Asian Stories Podcast that he grew up in New Jersey after his parents immigrated from Kerala, India in the late 1980s.

He told the podcast that to make the world seem even smaller, he grew up in “a community within a community,” because of his less common Indian-Christian-Catholic background — which by the way is the reasoning behind a Biblical name like “Michael.”

What has Michael Maliakel been in?

Perhaps the biggest role Maliakel is known for is his leading role as Aladdin in the Broadway musical “Aladdin,” which he first appeared in the show in 2021.

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All Arts TV released an interview with him for his role, where he talked about the inspiration it was to see Aladdin on TV and what it meant to him as a first-generation Indian-American.

He’s also performed in Broadway’s 25th-anniversary production of “The Phantom of the Opera” as Raoul, as well as numerous other performances, including:

  • “Broadway’s Brightest Lights,” and “An Evening with Lerner and Loewe,” both PBS concert specials
  • “Sunset Boulevard,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber

In an interview with Broadway.com, Maliakel said he considers himself more of “a musician at heart.”

He’s performed previously with the Tallahassee Symphony, at the 2022 Global Citizen Awards, and now with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

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