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Laiona Michelle

 
Bio:
Laiona Michelle, a native of Springfield, MA added writer to her resume with her double bill as writer and star of the critical and box-office smash, Little Girl Blue, The Nina Simone Musical, which launched its world premiere engagement at the George Street Playhouse on Feb 1, 2019. Now, she takes ... (read complete bio)
 

Bio:
Laiona Michelle, a native of Springfield, MA added writer to her resume with her double bill as writer and star of the critical and box-office smash, Little Girl Blue, The Nina Simone Musical, which launched its world premiere engagement at the George Street Playhouse on Feb 1, 2019. Now, she takes ... (read complete bio)

Stage Credits

  [Off-Broadway]
2022
Performer
  [Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2015
Nanna
  [Chicago]
World Premiere Production, 2014
Performer
  [US Tour]
1st National US Tour, 2012
Ensemble
  [Off-Broadway]
2007
Lead Singer / Chorus

Photos

Rashad V. Chambers and Laiona Michelle Photo

Rashad V. Chambers and Laiona Michelle

From: 
Date:
05/02/2022
Devanand Janki, Rashad V. Chambers, Crystal Joy, Laiona Michelle, Mark Fifer, Kenneth Photo

Devanand Janki, Rashad V. Chambers, Crystal Joy, Laiona Michelle, Mark Fifer, Kenneth Salters and Saadi Zain

From: 
Date:
05/02/2022
Kally Duling; Laiona Michelle; John Bolger; & Ryan George  Photo

Kally Duling; Laiona Michelle; John Bolger; & Ryan George

From: 
Date:
05/11/2021
(L to R) Mark Fifer; Laiona Michelle, writer and star of Little Girl Blue - The Nina  Photo

(L to R) Mark Fifer; Laiona Michelle, writer and star of Little Girl Blue - The Nina Simone Musical; Saadi Zain; and Kenneth Salters at George Street Playhouse, January 29 thru February 24. Photo

From: 
Date:
01/29/2019

 

Stage

Performances
  [Off-Broadway]
2022
Performer

  [Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2015
Nanna

  [Chicago]
World Premiere Production, 2014
Performer

  [US Tour]
1st National US Tour, 2012
Ensemble

  [Off-Broadway]
2007
Lead Singer / Chorus

Laiona Michelle Biography

Laiona Michelle, a native of Springfield, MA added writer to her resume with her double bill as writer and star of the critical and box-office smash, Little Girl Blue, The Nina Simone Musical, which launched its world premiere engagement at the George Street Playhouse on Feb 1, 2019. Now, she takes on the mantle of book writer, for a new project, Mandela -- a musical based on Nelson Mandela’s life; from his days as a leading activist against Apartheid, to his imprisonment and eventual release to become the nation’s President.

Laiona Michelle began to gain national notoriety when she made her Broadway debut in 2015, in the musical, Amazing Grace, which opened at the Nederlander. Cast in the principal role of Nanna, a woman stolen away from her family by slave traders, she delivers one of the stand out musical moments of the play.

Laiona credits William Shakespeare as the reason that she fell in love with theatre. As a child, she was taken to see a Shakespearean production and knew immediately, ‚ÄúThis is what I want to do.‚ÄĚ Since that time, she has been developing her skills as a writer, actress and singer, constantly working on expanding the full range of her natural vocal abilities.

Laiona Michelle has been nominated for numerous awards including the Independent Reviewers of New England, Best Lead Actress award (2001, Stonewall Jackson’s House); and is the recipient of the Barrymore and Carbonell Awards (2004, Constant Star); The NAACP Hollywood award (2005, Constant Star), and she was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award (2005, Yellowman).

Before joining the cast of Amazing Grace, Laiona was part of the First National tour of The Book of Mormon. And prior to that, she had honed her skills, performing at some of the most renowned regional theatres in the United States including the Arena Stage, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Goodspeed Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse and many more.

Laiona has also written several children’s plays/musicals for Dream Studios, a non-for-profit arts organization providing access to the performing arts, and located in her hometown of Springfield, Ma.

As a writer, an actor, and a Black woman, Laiona believes in the importance of ‚Äúowning our stories.‚ÄĚ She champions the idea of breaking down stereotypes that would box her in or type cast her, therefore limiting her ability to grow.

Laiona Michelle resides in New York City. She is a graduate of Brandeis University (MFA), and did her undergraduate work at Alabama State University in Theatre Arts.

For more information, visit www.laionamichelle.com.

Laiona Michelle Awards and Nominations

 
Helen Hayes Awards - 2005 - Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
Laiona MichelleYellowman

Laiona Michelle News

2022 Lilly Award Winners Announced Photo 2022 Lilly Award Winners Announced
by Chloe Rabinowitz - May 12, 2022

The 2022 Lilly Award winners have been announced. The Lillys celebrate, fund, and fight for women by promoting gender and racial parity in the American theatre.

LITTLE GIRL BLUE Extends Run At New World Stages Photo LITTLE GIRL BLUE Extends Run At New World Stages
by Chloe Rabinowitz - May 6, 2022

Little Girl Blue announced it will extend its run at the New World Stages through May 29th.

Photos: On the Red Carpet at the 2022 Lucille Lortel Awards Photo Photos: On the Red Carpet at the 2022 Lucille Lortel Awards
by Genevieve Rafter Keddy - May 2, 2022

The 37th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway was presented on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at NYU Skirball.

KIMBERLY AKIMBO, ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS, and More Take Home 2022 Lucille Lortel A Photo KIMBERLY AKIMBO, ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS, and More Take Home 2022 Lucille Lortel Awards; Full List!
by Nicole Rosky - May 1, 2022

The 37th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway will be presented tonight, Sunday, May 1, 2022 at NYU Skirball beginning at 7:00pm EST. Stick with BroadwayWorld tonight as we share LIVE updates of the winners.

World Premiere of MANDELA is Part of the Young Vic's Summer-Autumn Season Photo World Premiere of MANDELA is Part of the Young Vic's Summer-Autumn Season
by Stephi Wild - Apr 14, 2022

Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah has announced the upcoming work for Summer and Autumn 2022.

KIMBERLY AKIMBO & ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS Lead Nominations for 2022 Lucille Lortel Photo KIMBERLY AKIMBO & ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS Lead Nominations for 2022 Lucille Lortel Awards
by Nicole Rosky - Apr 7, 2022

Nominations for the 37th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced today by theatre veterans Lilli Cooper and Lea DeLaria, stars of Broadway’s POTUS. With COVID safety in mind, rather than having one host and multiple presenters, this year the Awards will be handed out by a few Host/Presenter pairs on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at NYU Skirball beginning at 7:00pm EST. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support provided by TDF.

Photos: Inside Opening Night of LITTLE GIRL BLUE at New World Stages Photo Photos: Inside Opening Night of LITTLE GIRL BLUE at New World Stages
by Stephi Wild - Mar 22, 2022

Little Girl Blue, the musical inspired by the life of Nina Simone, is now playing at New World Stages. The musical, written and starring Laiona Michelle (Amazing Grace, Book of Mormon, American Hero), began previews on Saturday, March 5th.

Save $20 on Tickets to LITTLE GIRL BLUE, a New Musical! Photo Save $20 on Tickets to LITTLE GIRL BLUE, a New Musical!
by - Mar 7, 2022

Special Offer - Save $20 on tickets to Little Girl Blue, a new musical!

Get $33 tix to LITTLE GORL BLUE in Honor of Nina Simone's Birthday! Photo Get $33 tix to LITTLE GORL BLUE in Honor of Nina Simone's Birthday!
by - Feb 28, 2022

Special Offer - Get $33 tix to Little Girl Blue in honor of Nina Simone's Birthday!

Rachel Chavkin & More to Join Nikki Bedi for BBC's THE ARTS ON TOUR IN NEW YORK Photo Rachel Chavkin & More to Join Nikki Bedi for BBC's THE ARTS ON TOUR IN NEW YORK
by Chloe Rabinowitz - Feb 25, 2022

Nikki is joined on stage by Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; Rachel Chavkin, director of Tony and Grammy-winning Broadway musical Hadestown; and playwright Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu, author of Pass Over, the first Broadway play to open after the pandemic.

Laiona Michelle Videos

VIDEO: First Look at LITTLE GIRL BLUE as Part of Goodspeed By The River VideoVIDEO: First Look at LITTLE GIRL BLUE as Part of Goodspeed By The River
by BroadwayWorld TV - Aug 7, 2021

From classical music -prodigy - to 'High Priestess of Soul,' this story taps into the legend that is Nina Simone with an honest and powerful portrait of her rich life and her ultimate decline. Feel the passion, joy and pain of a woman adored by millions - then and now.

VIDEO: Inside Rehearsal For LITTLE GIRL BLUE as Part of Goodspeed By The River VideoVIDEO: Inside Rehearsal For LITTLE GIRL BLUE as Part of Goodspeed By The River
by Stage Tube - Jul 30, 2021

From classical music -prodigy - to ‚ÄúHigh Priestess of Soul,‚ÄĚ this story taps into the legend that is Nina Simone with an honest and powerful portrait of her rich life and her ultimate decline.

VIDEO: First Look at TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS at George Street Playhouse VideoVIDEO: First Look at TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS at George Street Playhouse
by Stage Tube - May 9, 2021

George Street Playhouse is continuing the season with Tiny Beautiful Things, a heart-tugging production based on the best-selling novel by Cheryl Strayed. Oscar-nominated writer, Nia Vardalos adapts Strayed's book based on the Dear Sugar advice column into an enrapturing and uplifting play that surges with emotion.

VIDEO: George Street Playhouse presents AMERICAN HERO VideoVIDEO: George Street Playhouse presents AMERICAN HERO
by Stage Tube - Feb 7, 2018

Watch the trailer for the powerful drama, American Hero, on stage now through February 25 at George Street Playhouse on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

STAGE TUBE: Timothy Ware's THE PRIDE PROJECT, Episode 4 - 'The T-Word'
by Stage Tube - Jun 6, 2016

Accidental Pictures presents the online poetry miniseries entitled THE PRIDE PROJECT. They release seven poems every Monday for seven consecutive weeks through June 27th, 2016 on Facebook and YouTube. These poems, written by Timothy Ware (Broadway's KINKY BOOTS), are performed by 10 American actors of African, Latin, Asian, and European descent. Click below to watch Episode 4, 'The T-Word', starring starring Laiona Michelle and Kimberly Marable.

STAGE TUBE: ABC News Tracks Beginning of New Broadway Musical AMAZING GRACE
by Stage Tube - Aug 25, 2015

Broadway's new musical AMAZING GRACE began previews on June 25, 2015 at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street) and officially opened on Thursday, July 16. In honor of the show's opening, ABC News has gone inside the show's long journey to New York - check out the segment below!

VIDEO: The Cast of Broadway's AMAZING GRACE Performs Title Song on 'Tonight'
by Caryn Robbins - Aug 18, 2015

On last night's TONIGHT SHOW, the cast of Broadway's AMAZING GRACE performed the show's eponymous tune. Check out the appearance below!

BWW TV: Watch AMAZING GRACE Company Sing an Anthem in Bryant Park!
by BroadwayWorld TV - Aug 7, 2015

Broadway in Bryan Park continued its 2015 program this week - and BroadwayWorld was on hand to capture the first day. This week's line-up included performances from the casts of ALLEGIANCE, AMAZING GRACE, Something Rotten!, A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, and RUTHLESS!. Below, watch as Amazing Grace's Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Laiona Michelle and company perform 'Testimony,' 'I Still Believe,' 'Daybreak,' and 'Amazing Grace.'

BWW TV: Chatting with the Company of AMAZING GRACE on Opening Night- Josh Young, Erin Mackey & More!
by TV - Opening Night Special - Jul 18, 2015

Broadway's new musical Amazing Grace officially opened last night, July 16, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street). The cast features Tony Award nominee Josh Young,Erin Mackey, Tony Award winnerChuck Cooper, Tom Hewitt, Chris Hoch,Stanley Bahorek, Harriett D. Foy, Laiona Michelle, Rachael Ferrera and Elizabeth Ward Land. BroadwayWorld brings you photos from the opening night bows below! BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge was on hand for the opening night afterparty, where he chatted with the company after the curtain went down. Check out what the full gang had to say on opening night below!

BWW TV: On the Red Carpet for Opening Night of AMAZING GRACE!
by TV - Red Carpets - Jul 17, 2015

Broadway's new musical Amazing Grace officially opened last night, July 16, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street). The cast features Tony Award nominee Josh Young,Erin Mackey, Tony Award winnerChuck Cooper, Tom Hewitt, Chris Hoch,Stanley Bahorek, Harriett D. Foy, Laiona Michelle, Rachael Ferrera and Elizabeth Ward Land. BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge was on hand for the theatre arrivals and you can check out red carpet interviews with Frank Wildhorn, Rachel York, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many more below!


Laiona Michelle Frequently Asked Questions

How many Broadway shows has Laiona Michelle been in?
Laiona Michelle has appeared on Broadway in 1 shows.

How many West End shows has Laiona Michelle been in?
Laiona Michelle has not appeared in the West End

What awards has Laiona Michelle been nominated for?
Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play (Helen Hayes Awards) for Yellowman .