Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Micki Grant, Groundbreaking Broadway Composer, Dies at 92

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Working with Ms. Carroll, she said, was a “magical” experience.

“It all came together so perfectly,” Ms. Grant told American Theater magazine in an interview this year. “It was a fortunate meeting between us: I needed somewhere to present my work, and she needed the new work to present because of who she was — having original works brought out her creativity, rather than trying to repeat something that was already done.”

The two women also collaborated on “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God,” an acclaimed gospel-infused musical that opened on Broadway in 1976 and ran for 429 performances. Ms. Carroll wrote the book, and music and lyrics were by Alex Bradford, with additional songs by Ms. Grant.

Two years later, Ms. Grant was one of the five songwriters behind the musical “Working,” which was based on the writer Studs Terkel’s book of interviews with everyday people about their jobs. The group was nominated for a Tony for best original score.

In one of Ms. Grant’s songs in “Working,” a woman laments: “If I could’ve done what I could’ve done/I could’ve done big things./With some luck to do what I wanted to do/I would’ve done big things./Swam a few rivers/Climbed a few hills/Paid all my bills.”

She returned to Broadway one last time, with a musical, “It’s So Nice to Be Civilized” (1980), which closed after eight performances.

Her other credits include the English-language lyrics to songs in “Jacques Brel Blues,” which debuted in East Hampton, N.Y., in 1988, and “Don’t Underestimate a Nut,” a musical based on the life of George Washington Carver, the agricultural scientist who promoted the cultivation of peanuts. It was commissioned by a children’s theater in Omaha, Neb., in 1994.

In the late 1990s, Ms. Grant spent two years with Lizan Mitchell on a tour of the United States and South Africa as they played the centenarian Delany sisters in “Having Our Say,” Emily Mann’s Tony Award-winning play.


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