A triumphant tale of courage, passion and love FELA is the true story of Kuti, who created a type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these pounding eclectic rhythms(a blend of jazz, funk, and African rhythm and harmonies) with incendiary lyrics that opening attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that rule Nigeria and much of Africa. Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T.Jones’s visionary staging FELA reveals Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist and celebrates his pioneering music.
Olivier and Tony nominated actor Sahr Ngaujah will lead the cast of FELA. He is joined by Melanie Marshall and Paulette Ivory, who co-starred with Ngaujah in the Olivier-nominated Royal National Theatre production.
FELA premiered off-Broadway in September of 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical before transferring to Broadway in November 2009 where its accolades included three 2010 Tony Awards including one for Best Choreography. Bill T. Jones also received the Astaire Award for Best Choreographer of the year in addition to this country’s most prestigious award, The Kennedy Center Honors.
Critics around the country have been effusive in their praise of this production. The kinetic energy pulsing from the music and dancing prompted Ben Brantley in the New York Times to say “There should be dancing in the streets.” Peter Marks of The Washington Post described it as “electroshock for the soul” , Charles McNulty added in The Los Angeles Times that FELA was “the most exuberant musical I’ve seen this season the fusion of his (FELA's) sound is rapturously celebrated with a pinwheel parade of pelvises.” and David Cote in Time Out gave it five stars suggesting Fela was “More than a Musical- an ecstatic phenomenon!”
“THE HOT (AND SERIOUSLY COOL) ENERGY that comes from the musical gospel preached by the title character of FELA ! Feels as if it could stretch easily to the borders of Manhattan and then across a river or two. There should be dancing in the streets!” – Ben Brantley, the New York Times
- Location: Cutler Majestic Theatre
- Based on the Life of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti
- Directed and Choreographed by Bill T. Jones
- Book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones
- Music & Lyrics by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti
- Book by Charles L. Mee, Jr.
- Directed by Anne Bogart A coproduction with Emerson Stage and SITI Company
- Series Legend
- Ages 14+
- Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 20 minute intermission