Stage Views: Amazing Grace's Laiona Michelle On Fun Home, Hamilton, Gypsy and More

News   Stage Views: Amazing Grace's Laiona Michelle On Fun Home, Hamilton, Gypsy and More
 
Playbill.com's series features actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they're looking forward to and more.

Laiona Michelle
Laiona Michelle

Here, via email, we hear from Laiona Michelle, the singing actress who can currently be seen in the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace at the Nederlander Theatre.

What show recently impressed you?
I recently saw Something Rotten! and fell in love with the soothsayer played by Brad Oscar. I enjoyed watching him make discoveries throughout. Pure genius! I also need to give a special wink out to the entire ensemble of Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy, which was so fresh, funny, original and honest.

What production are you most excited to see?
I am looking forward to seeing Fun Home. I truly enjoyed watching Sydney Lucas' performance at the Tonys. Although I knew very little about this show, I totally feel under its spell. The music, lyrics and interpretation was all perfectly matched. I know I'm in for a real treat.

What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
This is a loaded question for me because so many of the roles that I have dreamed of playing were written by awarding-winning Black playwrights but unfortunately never made it to Broadway. That being said, I would love to revive Euripides' Medea as Medea or Berniece in August Wilson's Piano Lesson. I would also love to revive/diversify the musical Gypsy and play the role of Mama Rose. I always loved this role but never thought I could ever be considered for it because she is an actual historical figure, but now that we have Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton I believe that it's not so impossible. That's the real beauty of art.

What are your current/upcoming projects?
I'm currently playing the role of Nanna in Amazing Grace at The Nederlander Theatre. This is my Broadway debut, and it's so exciting to play a role that I based on my grandmother. I also recently filmed my first pilot, "Sneeky Pete." I'm such a theatre girl, so I felt a little like a fish out of water. The director told me to have more fun, so I took his advice and had a ball "cutting up." It's really rewarding working in an environment where the room is safe and you can let your guard down to play and explore freely. It's what I really love about acting, being uninhibited.

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