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Don’t Bother Her She Can’t Cope Micki Grant Passes Over

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. 

Bobby Hill and Micki Grant in the original Broadway production of Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.

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

Barbara Rodell, Micki Grant, ‘Another World’ (1968)Everett Collection

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

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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