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Little Girl Blue
Little Girl Blue

Little Girl Blue

New York, NY
Being one of the first people to see a new Nina Simone musical is a big deal.
93 Reviews on Show-Score

About Little Girl Blue

Little Girl Blue is an exuberant new musical with a tour-de-force performance by award-winning actor Laiona Michelle. From her ascension as classical music prodigy to “High Priestess of Soul” to civil rights activist, 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. After a box office shattering, sold out regional premiere at George Street Playhouse, Little Girl Blue is poised to become a New York sensation.

Production photos by Diane Sobolewski, Goodspeed Musicals

Gallery / 5 Images
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Tell Me More

Little Girl Blue, a new musical about the life of Nina Simone, will put a spell on you. The show, written by and starring Laiona Michelle, traces the evolution of Simone as a genre-blending singer/songwriter and outspoken activist in her historic career. Get Little Girl Blue tickets on TodayTix.

Little Girl Blue is a musical that packs two decades' worth of a music career into two hours. Simone originally aspired to a career as a concert pianist, but after training in classical music at Juilliard, she ended up with a jazz-pianist gig in Atlantic City that also required her to sing. Thus began Simone's career of experimenting with different genres in her music — she never forgot her classical roots, but she mixed that sound with elements of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop.

Simone was equally famous for her own songs as for her covers of others'. Some of her landmark songs, however, were self-written ones inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Between then-controversial song releases and speeches at demonstrations, Simone established herself as a figurehead in the fight for equal rights. Little Girl Blue explores all these aspects during her life and career.

Little Girl Blue star Laiona Michelle's previous credits include The Book of Mormon on tour and Amazing Grace on Broadway. Little Blue Girl premiered in 2019 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The show most recently had an outdoor run with East Haddam, Connecticut's Goodspeed Opera House in 2021.

Now, New World Stages hosts the premiere of Little Girl Blue off Broadway with its entire cast and creative team intact, including Michelle, fellow performers Kenn Salters, Saadi Zain, and Mark Fifer (who is the show's pianist, music director, and arranger), and director Devanand Janki.

Get tickets to Little Girl Blue in New York on TodayTix now.

What to Watch For

  • Little Girl Blue off Broadway features an all-female, all-BIPOC design team of set designer Shoko Kambura, costume designer Ari Fulton, lighting designer Dawn Chiang, sound designer Twi McCallum, and wig designer Earon Nealey.
  • The Little Girl Blue musical takes its title from Simone's debut album. That album, in turn, is named for a song Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart originally wrote for the Broadway musical Jumbo, and which Simone covers on the album! Dozens of other artists have covered the song since its 1935 release.
  • Nina Simone's birth name is Eunice Kathleen Waymon. She changed her name when she started playing jazz music so her mother, who considered jazz "the devil's music," wouldn't find out. "Nina" was a nickname a boyfriend gave her, which came from niña, the Spanish word for "girl." She took "Simone" from the French actress Simone Signoret after seeing her in the 1952 movie Casque d'Or.
  • Simone released multiple songs about racial inequality in support of the Civil Rights Movement. These include "Mississippi Goddam," "Old Jim Crow," "Backlash Blues" (written by poet Langston Hughes), and a cover of Billy Taylor's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." Another of her songs, "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," is based on an unfinished play by A Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry, a close friend of Simone's.
  • You might not even realize how many Nina Simone songs you know! "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," made popular as a blues-rock hit by The Animals, and "I Put a Spell on You," now associated with Annie Lennox and the movie Hocus Pocus, were sung by Simone years earlier!
Run time

2 hours

Start date

March 5th, 2022

End date

May 28th, 2022


Musicals, Off-Broadway


New World Stages

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