Chicago-born actress-singer-writer Micki Grant passed away at 80.
A graduate of graduate of Englewood High School, as a teenager, Grant worked with South-side community theater groups like the Center Aisle Players. In 1962, Grant exploded onto the Broadway scene in off-Broadway musical called “Fly Blackbird” alongside Robert Guillaume and Avon Long. Grant went on to establish a solid reputation in off-Broadway and regional theater with performances in such shows as “Brecht on Brecht”, in which she sang songs originally written for Lotte Lenya. The late 60s saw her in a brief Chicago comeback, spoofing the supermodel Twiggy in “Bon Voyage Titanic”, a revue at the old Happy Medium cabaret on Rush Street.
But it was in the 70s that Grant hit her stride as a songwriter as well as a performer when she embarked on a series of collaborations with director Vinnette Carroll, who ran an off-off-Broadway company called Urban Arts Corps who launched her songwriting career with anti-war drama “Bury the Dead,” “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” a 1972 upbeat musical revue about urban black life, and “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God,” a gospel retelling of the Passion of Jesus in 1976. Grant then went on to pen some of the spunkiest numbers in “Working” the Studs Terkel-inspired musical that premiered in 1977 at the Goodman Theatre.
Grant never left her acting roots, taking the lead in the Broadway hit “Having Our Say”, and eventually going on the road with the show on its national tour.