George Street Playhouse to premiere musical about Nina Simone

Nina Simone play

A vintage publicity photo of Nina Simone.

As part of its 2018-19 season, the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick will premiere “Little Girl Blue – The Nina Simone Musical,” featuring music by the legendary jazz-soul artist and others. The singer, songwriter and pianist, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, was most active rom the late ’50s to the early ’90s, and died in 2003, at the age of 70. According to a press release, the musical “reveals a life in-between the black and white keys — a passionate journey from classical piano child prodigy to the High Priestess of Soul.”

Laiona Michelle — who co-starred in “American Hero,” earlier this year at the George Street Playhouse — wrote the musical, and will star in it. It will run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 24.

The season will start, Oct. 16-Nov. 11, with another premiere, of “The Trial of Donna Caine,” a courtroom drama, inspired by true events, about a marine staff sergeant accused of a serious crime. It was written by Walter Anderson, a former editor of Parade magazine.

Next up, Nov. 27-Dec. 23, is “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” written by Lucas Hnath. The play is a sequel to the Henrik Ibsen classic, featuring some of the same characters, 15 years later. It premiered in Costa Mesa, Calif., in 2016, and ran on Broadway in 2017; it received eight Tony nominations and won one, a Leading Actress award for Laurie Metcalf.

“The Immigrant,” written by Mark Harelik,” will run from March 12 to April 7. According to a press release, it’s about a Russian-Jewish emigrant who “arrives at the port of Galveston, Texas in 1909 seeking refuge from his homeland and with only his banana cart in tow, he finds compassion and friendship from an unlikely couple, and creates a pastoral life for his family.

The last play will be “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” by Jiréh Breon Holder. It’s about a young man involved in the Civil Rights movement in the South, in the 1960s. It runs from April 23 to May 19.

For the second straight season, the plays will be presented at the theater’s temporary home at 103 College Farm Road in New Brunswick. Next season, George Street Playhouse will return to Livingston Avenue in downtown New Brunswick, where a new performing arts complex is now being built on the theater’s former site.

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