Don’t Bother Her She Can’t Cope Micki Grant Passes Over
I saw Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope about 15 times. I was in love with this radically new musical. Grant was the first woman to win a Grammy Award for the score of a Broadway musical. It is with sadness that I announce that Micki Grant, born Minnie Perkins, June 30, 1929, passed on August 21, 2021 from unknown causes. Grant was an American singer, actress, writer and composer who broke barriers and strove to create a path for others. She was involved in the creation of 18 theatrical productions, five of them on Broadway.
Her first role was in Fly Blackbird in Los Angles. The show was successful and moved to New York City. In the early 1960s, she appeared off-Broadway in Jean Genet’s The Blacks (with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson), and in Brecht on Brecht, in which she sang “Pirate Jenny”. In 1964, Grant appeared as Ella Hammer in Howard da Silva’s off-Broadway revival of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock, opposite Jerry Orbach and Rita Gardner.
Much of her early work was done with director Vinnette Carroll, the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway. They collaborated on Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, in which Grant starred and wrote the music, book and lyrics. For Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, Grant wrote additional lyrics and music. Both enjoyed critical acclaim and long Broadway runs. Grant received a 1972 Obie Award for Music and Lyrics for her work on Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope. It’s Nice to Be Civilized gave Grant two Broadway shows running simultaneously.
She wrote the song for Working (1978), musical she wrote “Lovin’ Al”, “If I Could’ve Been” and “Cleanin’ Women”.
For Eubie! (1978), musical revue she added additional lyrics
Grant broke barriers with the first story line written for an African-American in a daytime soap opera, Grant portrayed attorney Peggy Nolan on Another World (1966-1973). She later appeared on The Edge of Night replacing Billie Allen as Ada Chandler and was in the cast of Guiding Light (1982–1984). She also had a brief stint as host of Around the Corner, a children’s show on CBS.
In the late ’90s, a two-year National tour of the play Having Our Say took her to over 68 U.S. cities and to Johannesburg, South Africa, earning her the Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delany. She also appeared in the CBS movie of the same name.
Ms. Grant was awarded the OBIE, NAACP Image, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Audelco’s Outstanding Pioneer, AEA’s Paul Robe-son, and the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend and the Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement awards. Grant was also the 2012 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild of America.
Ms. Grant your legacy moves on and you will be remembered.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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