Nikki Michelle James (born June 3, 1981)[1] is an American actress and singer. James is best known for her performances in the popular stage musicals The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables, her role in the former having earned her a Tony Award.[2]

Nikki M. James
Nikki M. James (5923037535).jpg
Nikki M. James in 2011
Nikki Michelle James

(1981-06-03) June 3, 1981 (age 38)
OccupationActress, singer
AwardsTony Award (Best Featured Actress in a Musical)—The Book of Mormon


James was born to immigrant parents; a Vincentian father and a Haitian mother who settled in New Jersey in pursuit of the American Dream.[3] James grew up in Livingston, New Jersey where she would graduate from Livingston High School.[4] As a child, she sang and acted in church and in school performances. She was nominated for a Rising Star Award at Paper Mill Playhouse for her performance as Dolly Levi in high school.[5] She later attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.[6]

James made her Broadway debut in the ill-fated The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and starred as Ottilie in the New York City Center Encores! production of House of Flowers.[7] She played Adela in the Off-Broadway run of Michael John LaChiusa's musical adaptation of Bernarda Alba and appeared in the Broadway cast of All Shook Up.[8]

James played Dorothy in the revival of The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse and also starred in Romeo and Juliet and Caesar and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival with Christopher Plummer. In the musical The Book of Mormon, she won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Nabulungi.[9][10] During that run, she took a leave in June 2012 to film a screen version of Lucky Stiff.[11] From 2014 to January 2015, she played Éponine in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables.[12][13]

In July 2017, James starred in the New York City Center Encores! staged concert of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Pizza April Snow
2009 Caesar and Cleopatra Cleopatra Same as the 2008 theatre play
2013 All Is Bright Betsy
2014 The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Sia Appeared in Him, the first in a trio of films
2015 Lucky Stiff Annabel
2015 For Real Candace TV Movie
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Third Watch Maizie 2 episodes: "He Said/She Said" and "Childhood Memories"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Tamara Bates Episode: "Stray"
2004 The Jury Myra Clarkson Episode: "Bangers"
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Jackie Episode: "Salome in Manhattan"
2010 30 Rock Erica Episode: "Gentleman's Intermission"
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 911 Operator Episode: "Father Dearest"
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Episode: "Padre Sandunguera"
2015–2016 The Good Wife Monica Timmons 6 episodes
2016 BrainDead Rochelle 12 episodes
2016 The Blacklist Rose Episode: "The Caretaker (No. 78)"
2017–2019 Welcome to the Wayne Julia Wiles (voice) Recurring role
2018 Bull Chloe Tomlin Episode: "Gag Order"
2018 The Good Fight Monica Timmons Episode: "Day 457"
2018 Instinct Ashley Episode: "Blast from the Past"
2019 NCIS: New Orleans Lisa Butler Episode: "A House Divided"
2019 Proven Innocent Violet Bell Main role


Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Sabina Temple Broadway (debut)
2003 House of Flowers Ottilie New York City Center Encores!
2003 Summer Charity Royall New York reading
2005 All Shook Up Lorraine Broadway
2006 Bernarda Alba Adela Off-Broadway
The Wiz Dorothy Gale La Jolla Playhouse
2007 Walmartopia Maia Latrell Off-Broadway
2008 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Caesar and Cleopatra Cleopatra Same as the 2009 film release
2011 The Book of Mormon Nabulungi Broadway
2013 Fetch Clay, Make Man Sonji Off-Broadway
2014 Les Misérables Éponine Thénardier Broadway (revival)
2015 Preludes Natalya Off-Broadway
2016 Twelfth Night Viola Shakespeare in the Park
2017 Julius Caesar Portia
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin Bubbly New York City Center Encores!
2018 Twelfth Night Viola Shakespeare in the Park (announced)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award ceremony Category Show Result
2011 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical The Book of Mormon Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated


  1. ^ "James"
  2. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Watch 'Les Miserables' Star Nikki M. James Perform 'On My Own' & Chat with Wendy Williams", May 21, 2014
  3. ^ Reich, Ronni, ed. (22 March 2014). "NJ native Nikki James making history in Les Miserables". Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Nikki M. James". Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Westfield H.S. wins 8 Rising Star Awards from Paper Mill Playhouse". Suburban News. June 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-03. Among the former nominees and winners are Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway, Tony award winner Laura Benanti, and 2011 Tony Award winner, Nikki M. James.
  6. ^ "Nikki M James interview", accessed 12-23-2015 Archived 2015-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben. “THEATER REVIEW; Those Sunny Brothels Where Sin Has No Sting” The New York Times, February 15, 2003
  8. ^ "Nikki M. James Broadway"
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting with 'Book of Mormon' 's Nikki M. James" Playbill, February 25, 2011
  11. ^ " To Star in Film Adaptation of 'Lucky Stiff' "
  12. ^ "Prepare the Barricades Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy, Nikki M James to Lead 'Les Miserables on Broadway"
  13. ^ "Tony Winner Nikki M James Sets Departure Date From Broadways 'Les Miserables' "

External linksEdit