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Former Spokane actress Morgan Keene appears on ‘American Idol’

UPDATED: Sun., April 29, 2018

Former Spokane actress Morgan Keene made an appearance on “American Idol” Sunday night. Not as a contestant, but as a guest performer.

Keene is now a member of D Cappella, a new Disney-affiliated a cappella group that performs Disney tunes. The seven-member group made its TV debut during the Disney night on “Idol.”

Keene grew up on Spokane stages, first appearing as a ballroom dancer during a Christian Youth Theater production of “Cinderella.” She would go on to star as Sandy in Spokane Civic Theatre’s sold-out run of “Grease,” and have a memorable turns in Civic’s “Next to Normal” and “Annie.”

She was last on a Spokane stage in 2016 in a show that connected her to Disney directly: starring as Katherine, the female lead in the North Amercian tour of Disney’s “Newsies.”

Keene, now 21, attended Mead High School until midway through her sophomore year, when she left Spokane to pursue an acting career. She is now based in New York.

A soprano, Keene will tour with D Cappella beginning in 2019, according to The group performs songs from iconic Disney films such as “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid.” She is joined in the group by Shelley Regner, who played Ashley in all three “Pitch Perfect” movies; Orlando Dixon, a former finalist on “The Voice;” and another singer with Washington ties, Antonio Fernandez, a former member of the a cappella group Boots and Cats at Central Washington University.

“American Idol,” now in its 16th season – and now on Disney-owned ABC, after 15 seasons on Fox – headed to Disneyland for Sunday’s show. Judge Katy Perry surprised fans by dressing up as Snow White, and Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa in “Frozen,” was on hand to mentor the contestants.

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