The Brooklyn, New York native made her Broadway debut in Barnum in 1981. She played Effie in the 1987 revival of Dreamgirls, for which she won the Drama League Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Lillias has also appeared on Broadway in Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago and Fela!, for which she received a Tony nomination. For her role as Sonja in Cy Coleman’s The Life, she won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Lillias’ concert performances include Funny Girl, Hair, Dreamgirls and South Pacific, which was broadcast by PBS Great Performances. She has appeared in concert at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center and has toured internationally with her one-woman show From Brooklyn to Broadway.