Lemon
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Lemon

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Spoken Word World

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


LEMON ANDERSEN

SAG/AFTRA

Broadway
Def Poetry Jam on Broadway Lemon Longacre Theatre, Stan Lathan
(Winner in its competition at TONYS 2003, National and International Tours 2003-2006)

Off-Broadway
County Of Kings Solo performance The Public Theatre, Elise Thoron
(Reviews By Ben Brantley NY Times, Variety, Backstage)
Slanguage Universes New York Theatre Workshop, Jo Bonney
THE RIDE Andrew PS 122

Film
The Soloist Principle Joe Wright
Miracle at St. Anna Feature Spike Lee
Inside Man Principle Spike Lee
Avending Angel Lead Lorenzo Collado
She Hate Me Featured Spike Lee

Television
Law & Order: crIminal Intent Feature
Russell Simmons/Def Poetry, HBO 6x season Performer Stan Lathan
Sucker Free City, Showtime Lead Spike Lee

Commercials/Multimedia
Notorious Voice Over /ADR Film
Rockstar Games Warriors/ GTA IV Video game
Old Spice (currently) Tag Voice TV
Sony Music/ Matisyahu Promo Voice TV/Radio
NIKE Battlegrounds Announcer TV/Radio
VH-1 Mary.J.Blige Tribute TV
Modells NYC Basketball Poet Radio

Training and Education
Master Class- Wynn Handman
Scene Study- Susan Batson/ Black Nexxus
Cold Reading- Margie Haber/ Phrase Technique
Dialect and Diction- Sam Chwat/ New York Speech Improvement LLC.
Technique- Laurence Gerwitz/ NYU continuing

Special Abilities
Spanish Fluency and Nationwide Slang dialects Beatbox, Baseball,Skateboarding

- Lemon


County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle

by Andy Propst

Jan 12, 2009

Lemon Andersen's one-man show County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle begins with a moment of jubilation as he recalls the night that he and his castmates won the Tony Award for their work in Def Poetry Jam. His excitement and coolly comic nonchalance captivate instantly, and his grip on theatregoers continues for nearly two hours in this lyrically moving piece that recounts his childhood and young adulthood in Brooklyn.

Anderson's narrative -- a mix of hip-hop and poetic prose, English, and occasionally Spanish -- is neither sentimental nor angry. Instead, it's a heartfelt and honest recounting of growing up with his heroin-addicted mother, her painful decline and eventual death. As he tells his story, he not only infuses it with humor, he also becomes, with precision and specificity, a number of other characters. Perhaps most amusing is his portrayal of a partially blind busybody woman in the apartment complex where he grew up.

Not everything in Lemon's biography is grim. His recounting of a teenage romance charms thoroughly, even if it is set against the harsh realities of his youthful existence, and when his tale turns to drug dealing and prison, he finds comedy in unlikely places and never succumbs to maudlin self-pity or self-aggrandizement.

Elise Thoron, who's also credited with developing it, has directed County of Kings with a sure hand on a nearly bare stage (designers Douglas Stein and Peter Ksander provide a striking abstract painting as a focal point), and the production elegantly builds to the moment when Andersen is poised to explore his ability to not only write poetry but also perform. The stakes are high, and even though audiences know that Lemon will ultimately succeed, they should not be surprised if they find themselves holding their breaths and silently cheering this winning young man on to his initial success. - Backstage


“A thugged-up Campbell’s Soup kid” is how one of his former girlfriends described Lemon Andersen as a cocky teenager. The tag still fits the arrestingly paradoxical presence of this performance artist, whose “County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle” is part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival. Mr. Andersen — an alumnus of the youthful, adrenaline-charged rhyme fest “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway” (2002) — retains the air of a choirboy with a shiv in his robe, forever putting the world on notice that he’s way tougher than his cherubic face suggests.

The same dynamic, of an angel working hard to earn his devil’s trident, informs much of this account of Mr. Andersen’s fluid but surprisingly conventional self-portrait of growing up in the projects in Brooklyn. Tracing his path from baby crack dealer to Broadway rapmeister, Mr. Andersen gracefully shimmies in and out of the identities he assumed to survive in locations that include the apartment he shared with his drug-addicted mother; a Manhattan ballet school; a county jail in Ohio; and Rikers Island.

It comes as no surprise that the role that always fit most comfortably was that of a sweet but salty professional showoff. Salvation in Mr. Andersen’s story is as much a matter of a natural performer’s finally receiving public attention as of an artist’s giving shape to chaos.

In structure and sentiment, “County of Kings,” directed by Elise Thoron, often brings to mind the mean-streets tales of degradation and redemption that stoke Oprah’s Book Club selections. But Mr. Andersen has a gift for rhythmic time-capsule set pieces that capture the flavor of a moment in history, turning boldface and brand names into propulsive song. His poeticized version of a news flash about the advent of AIDS (the disease that killed his mother) electrifies, as it should, like unexpected lightning.

And his account of his teenage self making love for the first time with a girl he actually loved, told from her perspective, pricelessly captures the awkward and startling grace of sex at an early age. - New York Times


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Lemon Andersen is a critically acclaimed renaissance artist. He has the greatest number of appearances on HBO's Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry, eight times in six seasons. Lemon is also an original cast member of Def Poetry on Broadway, where he won a TONY award for both his writing and performance and earned a Drama Desk nomination. Lemon has been a pioneer in the spoken-word and theater scene for the past decade, performing at venues such as the, Apollo Theater, Chicago Theater, Hollywood’s Kodak Theater and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. In the summer of 2005, Lemon received a standing ovation for his memorable performance at the Live 8 Concert in Philadelphia. 500,000 people strong watched Lemon rocked the same stage as Jay-Z, The Dave Mathews Band and Stevie Wonder. Lemon’s screen actor and writing credits include The Soloist, starring and Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, as well as Spike Lee's Miracle At St. Anna, Sucker Free City and She Hate Me. He appeared opposite Denzel Washington in Inside Man, the largest grossing work of Mr. Lee’s filmmaking career. His theater credits include the Jo Bonney directed Slanguage, which premiered at the New York Theater Workshop to rave reviews and sold out shows. Lemon has taught performance art workshops at both colleges and correctional facilities, from the University of Michigan to N.Y. State’s infamous Sing Sing prison to Harvard U. He has studied master acting with the honorable Wynn Handman at Carnegie Hall and delved into Shakespeare at The Public Lab. Lemon is the author of Ready Made Real, a self-published collection of his most prolific poetry pieces. He is currently touring his autobiographical stage memoir, County of Kings, which premiered at the Public Theater as part of Under the Radar Festival in January 2009. Lemon received a five-mic caliber review in the New York Times and is currently touring County of Kings at premier performing arts venues in North America and Europe.

Tandem to his performing talents is Lemon's take on urban culture. Brand marketers seek his unique perspective when creating advertising content that strengthens their brand’s connection to the multicultural demographic. Lemon's brand marketing work includes a memorable piece for Nike. While in hot pursuit of LeBron James in the Summer of 2003, Lemon was commissioned to create an original spoken word piece that articulated Nike's vision for LeBron. Soon after, Lemon touched down at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon where he performed the one-of-a-kind piece for a select audience... LeBron, his mother and Nike executives.

Lemon was born, raised and resides in Brooklyn.