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Lucia Micarelli Is Making it Big in the Big Easy

Juilliard-trained violinist finds fame and fortune on the teeming streets of New Orleans.

The mark of a good actor is when the audience confuses fact and fiction. For actor and violinist Lucia Micarelli, 28, who plays an aspiring street musician named Annie Tee on the hit HBO series Treme (pronounced Tre-may) that has caused concerned fans to accost the violinist at concerts to offer relationship advice for her TV character.

“Everyone has something to say about her relationship choices,” Micarelli says of her character, during a phone interview from her Los Angeles home. She speaks quietly and the conversation is punctuated by a girlish laugh. “It’s funny.”

Less humorous were those fans who believed that award-winning show co-creator David Simon—known for the gritty HBO crime drama The Wire—had modeled Micarelli’s character after Addie Hall, a real-life murder victim allegedly killed, chopped up, cooked, and eaten by her Iraq War veteran boyfriend a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Fans worried that her character had a similar fate in store.

Dismayed, Micarelli decided to have a heart-to-heart talk with the show’s producers. She asked Simon about those rumors and was assured that he and co-creator Eric Overmyer had much more benign plans for Annie Tee.

So far, so good.

Over the course of the Peabody Award–winning Treme’s critically acclaimed seasons (the third season premiered on September 23), Annie Tee has left her deadbeat boyfriend (portrayed by Michiel Huisman), gotten off the streets, and started playing with more established musicians, including former cast member Steve Earle (whose ill-fated character Harley served as a mentor to Annie, a role Earle played off-camera with Micarelli as well) and such guest stars as John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin.

This season, Annie is showing newfound confidence.

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Emmys: Love for the Longest of Shots, Vol. 1: Lucia Micarelli of 'Treme'

Emmy nominations come Thursday, but before they do I wanted to send a little love out to actors and actresses who are probably very long shots to get the acclaim they deserve. I've already written about the actors and shows I would love for the Emmys to take notice of and nominate, but this batch is a little different. I don't think, given the conventions of the process, that they have much of a shot, so it's not like I'll collapse if they're ignored on Thursday (though I'll be damned upset if many -- maybe even any -- of the actors I picked in my original story are snubbed). Here then, an appreciation of the overlooked.

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Shows elevate when ensembles gel - Chemistry is mysterious but key to a winning cast

VARIETY, by David Kronke
Speaking of "Treme," its individual players -- who range from an Oscar winner (Melissa Leo) to veterans of previous Simon productions (Pierce, Khandi Alexander, Clarke Peters) to a passel of professional musicians and neophyte actors (Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, Lucia Micarelli) -- interact with one another in a thoroughly naturalistic manner.

Real musicians were necessary because "Treme" shoots and records its musical performances live on set, Simon says. Director Spike Lee recommended LeBlanc, a Katrina survivor, to Simon after interviewing her for his documentary "When the Levees Broke."

Real musicians were necessary because "It was a leap of faith, but if we could get her to be as direct, as blunt, as exuberant as she was in the documentary, if you can harness that, she could be great," Simon recalls.

Of Micarelli, a Juilliard-trained classical violinist, Simon enthuses, "How is she not America's sweetheart? She has a great natural gift."
He adds that a cousin asked him, assuming she was an actress, if she really could play violin, and suggests that acting comes more naturally to her than playing in the gritty, earthy style of New Orleans music.

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Kim Dickens and Lucia Micarelli take their 'Treme' characters on the road

By Dave Walker, The Times-Picayune
"All of the women in Davis McAlary’s 'Treme' life are on journeys this season.

Mother Ramona's is never-ending, given who her son is.

Aunt Mimi's trip is a saga in itself.

And Annie Tee and Janette Desautel are on quests of personal and professional growth that have taken them far from where the story left them at the end of season one."

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Behind the song: I'm Gone: Shawn Colvin with Lucia Micarelli

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Lucia Micarelli, 'Treme' benefit, 2010

THE TIMES-Picayune, by David Walker
In this video, Lucia Micarelli, 'Treme's' Annie, discussed her interaction with New Orleans musicians as the first season of the HBO drama approached. The interview was taped during the series' 'My Darlin' New Orleans' benefit in 2010.

Watch here:

Music in 'Treme' takes you to another place

THE BALTIMORE SUN, by David Zurawik
In its second-season premiere, the HBO series grooves and moves you with its soundtrack

"With Tee appearing in four musical numbers in the first episode, it seems as if the producers are rightfully and righteously showcasing Micarelli and her character a little more. I hope that turns out to be the case across the full season — Micarelli, the actress, and the character Annie Tee are two of the best things happening anywhere on weekly series television."

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Treme: New Orleans is thinking

THE AMPERSAND by Robert Cushman
"...a virtuoso of versatility herself, is the beauteous Annie, played by Lucia Micarelli, who must surely be the most bewitching actress-singer-violinist ever and, with Goodman gone, the show’s true star."

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Lucia Micarelli Separates Fact From Fiction Before Season 2 of Treme

"The similarities between Lucia Micarelli and Annie Tee, the character she portrays on HBO's Treme, are striking -- obviously. Both are passionate, expressive musicians who slowly but surely are building a buzz after investing years of training as classical violinists.

Credit a team of talented and flexible writers for keeping it real by tailoring Annie's backstory to fit Lucia's background."

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Beautiful Illustration and Thoughts On Lucia's Character Annie in The Oxford American

... "Will Annie be there?" I asked. "You dog!" replied David Simon. I need to stop and explain. Annie is a character on the show, an angelic, talented violinist played by Lucia Micarelli, an angelic, talented violinist. ...I stammed to David Simon that my interest in Annie was far from canine. I was worried about her! David Simon is not shy about killing off characters you love. ”

To read more be sure to pick up a copy of The Oxford American! Excerpt from "There's Your Story" by Jack Pendarvis.

Lucia named one of GQ Magazine's "Hottest Women of Sky Atlantic!"

Check out Lucia in GQ!

Check out Lucia in GQ Magazine!

Lucia named one of GQ Magazine's Gorgeous Girls of Cable!

Check out Lucia in GQ!

Check out Lucia in GQ Magazine!

Lucia Micarelli Featured in the July 2010 issue of STRINGS Magazine

Look for Lucia's story in the July issue of STRINGS Magazine: Eclectic Violinist Makes a Career Move in the Crescent City

... Last August, shortly after getting her hand out of a cast, violinist Lucia Micarelli received a phone call from HBO, asking her to audition for Treme, a television series about jazz musicians coping with a post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. “I’d never done anything but play violin, and I thought this might be something that would be less demanding than going on tour,” she says. “But it ended up being a whole lot more than that.”

... “She’s a natural actress and has a great presence,” says actor John Goodman, who plays a college professor in the show. “She’s the real deal.” The experience has made her a better musician, says Micarelli, and introduced her to a new musical world. “This is my favorite job—ever,” she declares. ...

To read Lucia's article in STRINGS visit and pick up a copy of the July issue!

Exclusive: Treme Star Lucia Micarelli Talks Annie, Music, NOLA, and the Rest of the Season

Look for Lucia's interview with's Adam Wright as she discusses her experience on the show, her role as Annie and her life as a musician.

... Adam: And now you play Annie the violinist on Treme. Tell me the differences and similarities between you and your character.

Lucia: Annie is a bit younger than I am, slightly more naive… also, I think her relationship with Sonny is one of her first, and so she may not have the kinds of boundaries or expectations in a relationship that I would – though, I have certainly been in romantic situations similar to hers in one way or another. What I find most compelling about her is that she's on the brink of womanhood, finding her way – which I feel is best expressed through music and the contrast of her ability and conviction while playing to her sometimes self-deprecating or self-defeating words and actions. Her entry point into maturity is through her music, and she learns there first – I love that about her, and definitely identify, as I think a lot of musicians do. There is so much that music teaches us about life, and it so often leads the way ...

To read the whole article visit: Exclusive Treme Star Lucia Micarelli

HBO's "Treme" in Breaux Bridge by David Simpson

When I arrived at the main festival stage Friday evening, April 30, the performance scene was already well under way. What I saw and heard sent my mind reeling. If I didn’t have the photos to upload, I might suspect I had dreamed it all. I had only about a minute to fire off some quick shots before it was over, so, while I think the song they were playing was “Quo’ Faire,” at the end I wasn’t even sure of my own name.

Rather than some wanna-be fiddle player, the actor, in reality, is Lucia Micarelli, a concert violinist who has also played with rock bands, most notably the band Jethro Tull. She was born in Queen, N.Y., in 1983 to Italian and Korean parents. She began playing when she was three, trained at Julliard for seven years, played with symphonies, served as concertmaster with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, toured as guest soloist with Josh Groban, and was a featured soloist with trumpeter Chris Botti (including a PBS special). You can find a number of videos of her on YouTube.

In the brief glimpses I had of her in Breaux Bridge, she was fiery and fierce, pouring herself totally into her music with relentless physical intensity. I predict she won’t be busking for change at Jackson Square much longer.

To read the whole article and view the Breaux Bridge photos visit: HBO's Treme in Breaux Bridge

Lucia Micarelli Shines on "Treme" by Louis Mayeux

Among the strengths of the HBO series "Treme" is the emergence of Lucia Micarelli, a wonderful violinist and actress. Classically trained, Micarelli sizzles when playing music with her street musician boyfriend, or in more formal gigs. She's also radiates a soulful, sexy loveliness. An Internet search shows that she's a Julliard grad, has toured with Josh Groban, and has released a CD. I caught a YouTube performance of her doing a classical piece with Groban's tour. She definitely has that combo of chemistry, talent and charisma that equals starpower.

To read the whole article visit: Chasing the Blues: Louis Mayeux's journal on art, books, sports and travel

Lucia Featured in Esquire!

Lucia Micarelli: The Woman Who Makes Treme Worth Watching
"... If you had any doubts about sticking with David Simon's epic tribute to New Orleans, this charming violin-impresario-turned-actress will make you feel a helluva lot better."

Look for Lucia's interview with Esquire as she discusses how she got her start on the show, what it's like to be on set and what it means to herself as well as her character, Annie.

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Treme Premiers on HBO

Look for Lucia on HBO's newest television series, "Treme" a story that follows the lives of New Orleanians as they try to salvage their rich and unique culture after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Lucia will be portraying the role of Annie, a young street musician who, alongside her boyfriend
Sonny, aim to cultivate a future in the music of the Crescent City.

Treme premiers Sunday, April 11 at 10p on HBO

Taken from HBO’s “Treme” press release…

TREME begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina and the massive engineering failure in which flood control failed throughout New Orleans, flooding 80% of the city, killing
hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands of residents. Fictional events depicted in the
series will honor the actual chronology of political, economic and cultural events following the

As the story begins, more than half the population of New Orleans is elsewhere and much of
the city is wrecked, muddied and caked in mold, while other neighborhoods – in “the sliver
by the river,” as locals call it – remain viable. But the tourists have yet to return, the money
that follows them is scarce, and residents can take solace only in the fact that the city’s high
levels of crime have migrated to Houston and Baton Rouge. And for those returning, housing
is hard to come by, with many people waiting on insurance checks that may never arrive.

Lucia Featured in GENLUX Magazine!

Lucia has been featured in the spring issue of GENLUX Magazine: subscribe for free to view the magazine online or pick up a copy today! ("Lucky Lucia", p. 54)

An excerpt from LUCKY LUCIA by Stephen Christopher, "Lucia Micarelli was on the top of her game - one of the most dynamic violinists in the world.  Then, a freak accident sent her into emergency surgery.  Here she shares with Stephen Christopher how life, in large part thanks to the fall, has dealt her a new hand."

For more information on "Lucky Lucia" visit