Stage Show on Nina Simone in the Works; Daughter to Star?
Nina Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the greatest body of her work released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue) and 1974. Her most well known songs include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "Four Women", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Sinnerman", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Mississippi Goddam", "Ain't Got No, I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl."
Also a Civil Rights activist, a civil rights message was standard in Nina's recording repertoire after 1964, when she first encountered a boycott of her single, "Mississippi Goddam," about murder of Medgar Evers and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black children. Nina performed and spoke at many civil rights meetings, such as at the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Nina Simone's story may be headed for the stage; the mononymous Simone, Nina's actress-singer daughter who also serves as the administrator of the Nina Simone estate, tells s2s Magazine that she's considering a play about her late mother.
Simone could be seen on the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar before landing an understudy role in the original Broadway cast of Rent, and played Mimi in the first national tour. A new career path began when she joined the acid jazz band Liquid Soul, but she retuned to the Broadway stage in the title role of Disney's Aida.
As to whether or not she would play her mother on stage, Simone adds that "No one can play her like me, [but] I want the best people to portray the characters."
Although no further details or collaborators have been announced, Simone will likely be greatly involved in the production. As the singer told BroadwayWorld in 2006: "I look forward to doing my own show, not someone else's. That's always been my dream."