Micaela Diamond, 23, is currently starring opposite Ben Platt in the Tony-nominated musical “Parade” on Broadway, in which she plays the wife of real-life Jewish lynching victim Leo Frank. “I bring a lot of my self and the questions I have reflected on about my Judaism onto the stage, and I am grateful it is translating,” Diamond tells the New York Jewish Week. After graduating from LaGuardia High School as a drama major, Diamond, who lives in Harlem, made her Broadway debut at age 19.
For the full list of this year’s “36 to Watch” — which honors leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference in New York’s Jewish community — click here.
Who is your New York Jewish hero?
What’s a fun/surprising fact about you?
I love whitefish so much. This is not surprising though.
Other fun facts: I booked the youngest Cher in “The Cher Show” on Broadway right out of LaGuardia. Also, once the pandemic hit [and theaters closed], I went to culinary school which was thrilling. I fell in love with gathering and deliberately congregating with people and started a supper club. This is very reminiscent of Shabbat — lots of food, questions, some anxiety, but a kind of instinctual routine.
How does your Jewish identity or experience influence your work?
Greatly. The character I play in “Parade” is Lucille Frank. At the turn of the 20th century, she was assimilating into the South and a bit shameful of her Jewishness. And slowly, she finds her voice and must acknowledge the undeniability of her Judaism. I think the story is beautiful and hope people can continue to connect to it. I feel as though I’ve found part of my voice playing her.
Do you have a favorite inspiring quote?
“Writers aren’t sacred but words are. If you put the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” — Tom Stoppard
What is your favorite place to eat Jewish food in New York?
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S&P Lunch, at the bar
What is your favorite book about New York?
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith
What are three spots in NYC that all Jewish New Yorkers should visit?
S&P Lunch, Katz’s Delicatessen, Zabars
How can people follow you online?
@micaela_diamond on Instagram
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