The New Jersey Stage
"George Street has assembled a truly wonderful cast led by a tour-de-force performance by Laiona Michelle. Her performance gives the word “intense” a new meaning. She doesn’t so much steal every scene she’s in, but hijacks them, making it difficult to look away."
- Mary, American Hero-
“Everyone in the 1,162-seat Nederlander house stops breathing and leans forward. Michelle’s fiercely delivered “Daybreak” has the same effect."
-nana, Amazing grace the musical-
New Jersey Advanced Media
"Laiona Michelle as Mary simmers and crackles as a live wire at the center of Christopher Demos-Brown's "American Hero." Her presence is foreboding and volatile, mostly for what she seems to be struggling to keep contained below the surface. She clearly challenges the suburban bliss of the play's setting, but she's pleasant enough: cracks some jokes, enjoys some drinks. But then something in Mary snaps, Michelle goes to work, and "American Hero" on the George Street Playhouse stage achieves sudden, unexpected grit and depth. Behind Michelle's electric performance, the closing half hour of this play very abruptly becomes great theater."
-Mary, american Hero-
Curtain Up New Jersey
"As Mary becomes an increasingly disquieting even incendiary presence, Laiona Michelle (in an emotionally gripping performance) lets us see the core of her grievances as we also become a witness to the cause of her fugitive state."
-Mary, American Hero-
“Unfailingly moving and performed to perfection by Laiona Michelle"
-Ida b wells, Constant Star"
New Jersey Entertainment
"behind Michelle's lead, the play's climax manages to be wrenching, haunting, and wonderful."
Edge Media Network
“There isn’t a moment, even a silence or a break in the action, that’s not filled with Dinah’s spirit or emotion or thought”
“Laiona Michelle as Nanna in Amazing Grace rips your heart out of your chest as she conveys an entire history of suffering in a few scenes"
-Nanna, Amazing grace the musical-
The Brandeis Hoot
“Laiona Michelle’s performance has wrought rave reviews for the complexity of her character and Michelle’s overall on point performance, vocally and otherwise”
-Nanna, Amazing Grace The musical-
"Michelle — whose dynamic turn as Mary Jean earned the biggest applause of the opening night audience — takes it to the far pavilions here; running an emotional minefield, and inspiring her fellow cast members to look past their own characters’ comfort zones."
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