Apr08

Award-Winning Musical “Fela!” Returning to Los Angeles

Categories // Entertainment Monday, 08 April 2013

Described by Broadway Across America (a touring production), as “more than a musical—it’s a narrative concert,” Fela!, now a three-time Tony Award winning musical and Grammy nominee, is set to come back to Los Angeles in late April.

Produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, this year, Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child has joined the cast for its current tour.

“This is music that gets into your bloodstream, setting off vibrations you’ll live with for days to come,” wrote    Ben Bradley of the New York Times.

Since first premiering on Broadway in 2009, the musical has developed a devoted audience—many of which are well-known celebrities, such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and others.

Based on the life of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and activist who founded the musical genre Afrobeat, Fela! uses a hybrid of powerful narrative and West African dance to show how Kuti used music to combat the oppression he faced from the harsh military regime in his homeland of Nigeria. Kuti died in 1997, leaving behind fifty-three albums and a wide following of loyal listeners.

The first idea for the musical stemmed from Stephen Hendel, who, upon discovering Kuti’s music, endeavored to expose this new, exciting sound to a wider audience.

Within four years, Hendel had teamed up with Tony Award winning-choreographer Bill T. Jones and writer Jim Lewis to create Fela!, a groundbreaking musical that has been nominated for sixteen awards and gained international notoriety since its inception.

Fela! will be coming back to the Ahmanson Theatre from April 25 to May 5th. Tickets are available online at www.centertheatregroup.org.

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