Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
  • bug spray available
  • community event
  • food vendors on-site
  • live music
  • picnics allowed

Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? uses recently unearthed audiotapes, recorded over the course of three decades, of Nina telling her life story to various interviewers and would-be biographers. From over 100 hours of these recordings, the film weaves together Nina’s narrative, told largely in her own words. Rare concert footage and archival interviews, along with diaries, letters, interviews with Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, friends and collaborators, along with other exclusive materials, make this the most authentic, personal and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists.

TWITTER: @Netflix #MissSimone


We have been watching the weather closely all day and on the line with every weather expert we know and with the probability of high winds & thunderstorms, we have decided to move the “What Happened, Miss Simone?” film & event indoors to Casino Theater (9 Freebody Street, Newport).

Please read very important information below:

  • Doors will open at 7:00 PM
  • Food vendor Boru Noodle Bar will be on-site for purchase
  • Parking: While there is no parking lot at Casino Theater, there is however, open, non-residential street parking on Freebody and King Streets, metered parking on Memorial &/or a paid parking in the Bellevue Gardens lot

PARKING: First come, first served at rough point. Once filled, we will shuttle people to & from the marble house lot which will also be first come, first served. Please consider biking, walking or carpooling! Shuttle will run from 6-8:30PM, then again at 10-11PM.


  • Suggested donation: $5
  • BYO picnic, chairs & blankets
  • We highly encourage biking, walking or carpooling! Free bike valet provided by Bike Newport
  • Vendors on site with food for purchase: Boru Noodle Bar & Tricycle Ice Cream

Rain Venue: Casino Theater, 9 Freebody Street, Newport

7:15pm: Pre-film live music by La Méchante et le Connard (as part of newport BridgeFest line-up)
8:15pm: Introduction by Newport Jazz Festival Producer, George Wein & Director, Liz Garbus
8:30pm: Film begins
10:15pm: Post-film discussion with Director Liz Garbus, moderated by Tatiana Siegel, Senior Film Writer, The Hollywood Reporter
Run time: 102 minutes
Director: Liz Garbus
Producers: Amy Hobby, Liz Garbus, Justin Wilkes, Jayson Jackson
What Happened, Miss Simone?
This is a past event

...meticulously researched, tough-love portrait of the brilliant but troubled folk/jazz/soul diva...”


Her interpretations of standards were truly groundbreaking”

The Guardian

Garbus had dream source material” - Billboard, they chronicle the ascent of her musical well as the demons of insecurity that grew alongside” - IndieWIRE, Simone seems to be pouring out every ounce of herself, the music flowing through her like an electric current, her voice echoing forth as if from some place deep inside the earth.” - Variety, Somewhere, one suspects, Miss Simone is smiling.”


What Happened, Miss Simone does its job well, proving especially treasurable for its wealth of rare archive film footage and audio material that captures Simone’s fierce talent, fiery temperament and fragile mental health.”

Hollywood Reporter

No doubt the real Miss Simone would have been pleased that the film featuring her own voice got in the first word.”

Hollywood Reporter

Liz Garbus....hit the motherlode with Nina Simone.”

Presenting sponsor of newportFILM Outdoors