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Laiona Michelle To Return To George Street Playhouse For Special Performance

originally published: 02/12/2020

Laiona Michelle To Return To George Street Playhouse For Special Performance

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Broadway veteran Laiona Michelle, writer and star of the critically acclaimed Little Girl Blue - The Nina Simone Musical—which enjoyed a record-breaking sold-out run in 2019—will return to George Street Playhouse March 19 at 7:30pm for a momentous one night concert at George Street’s new home in the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, celebrating the music of Nina Simone and classic Broadway.

The special event will include a selection of Broadway favorites and highlight Nina Simone’s most iconic hits –  including “Feeling Good,” “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” “Sinnerman,” “Little Girl Blue,” and many more, all in celebration of Black History Month and Women’s History Month. 

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome back powerhouse performer Laiona Michelle,” George Street Playhouse’s Artistic Director David Saint said. “Audiences will remember her not only from her ‘standing room only’ run of Little Girl Blue on our stage, but also from American Hero, for which she earned critical acclaim.” 

“I am so excited right now, to be returning to George Street Playhouse,” said Michelle.  “Things are all coming together in such an amazing way. This concert is a blessing; a way for me to honor this remarkable woman, Nina Simone, through her music and through a very special guest who will join me on stage. At the same time, we plan to mix things up a little and have some fun.” 

In addition to this historic concert, Ms. Michelle wrote the book for a new Broadway-bound production, Mandela, a new musical developed in partnership with the family of Nelson Mandela, featuring music & lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky.

Tickets for An Evening with Laiona Michelle: Celebrating the Music of Nina Simone and Classic Broadway begin as low as $25 and are already in high-demand. Audiences are encouraged to buy early to secure their seats.

George Street Playhouse is a resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center located at 11 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey. To find tickets, or for more information, visit the George Street Playhouse website or call 732-246-7717.  

Laiona Michelle, a native of Springfield, MA, made her Broadway debut in the principal role of Nanna in Amazing Grace, upon following her performance in the First National Tour: The Book of Mormon. With Little Girl BlueThe Nina Simone Musical, she makes her debut as a writer. Whether playing Dinah Washington in the musical production about the iconic singer’s life (Dinah Was); Calpurnia in a regional Shakespeare production (Julius Caesar); or as a veteran of the Afghanistan war in the George Street Playhouse production of  Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Hero, Laiona approaches every role  with power and conviction. Awards include: Independent Reviewers of New England, Best Lead Actress award (2001, Stonewall Jackson’s House); Barrymore and Carbonell Awards (2004, Constant Star), The NAACP Hollywood award (2005, Constant Star). Some of her regional credits include: Arena Stage, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Goodspeed Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse and many more. Television:  Lift, All My Children, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Blacklist, and Crashing, as well as Amazon’s Sneaky Pete

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Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, and Kelly Ryman, Managing Director since 2013, George Street Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. With its 45-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.

At the start of its 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick.  Featuring two state-of-the-art theaters -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the NBPAC marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.

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