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Lemon Andersen (www.lemonshood.com)
Lemon Andersen (www.lemonshood.com)

Lemon Andersen grew up hard in Brooklyn. His parents, drug addicts. His toys, syringes. He lost his stepfather at 12. His father at 14. His mother, to AIDS, at 15.

Lemon dealt crack. Did time at Riker’s Island. Got out. Found himself on stage and began to talk.

He shared a Tony for Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Now he’s opening a one-man show, at the Public Theater in New York, on hard times and redemption.

One critic calls him “a choir boy with a shiv in his robe.”

This hour, On Point: Lemon Andersen, on coming up hard — and his new show, “County of Kings.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guest:

Lemon Andersen is a poet, writer and actor. He was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and a regular on HBO's Def Poetry runs.  He's acted in three Spike Lee films: "Sucker Free City," "She Hate Me" and "Inside Man." He has written and is starring in the one-man Public Theater show “County of Kings,” which opens next Monday. The show is about his life. Spike Lee, a mentor of Andersen's, is one of its producers.

More links:

"When Life Names You Lemon..." -- The New York Times' Deborah Sontag profiles Lemon Andersen.

Here's Lemon performing "Poor People" from a 2005 episode of Def Poetry:

This program aired on October 5, 2009.

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