Fela! to Play Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre | Playbill

News Fela! to Play Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre
Fela! — the acclaimed new musical based on the life of groundbreaking African composer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti that played a limited engagement in fall 2008 at Off-Broadway's 37 Arts — will begin previews at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre Oct. 19.
Fela! star Sahr Ngaujah.
Fela! star Sahr Ngaujah. Photo by Monique Carboni

Opening night will be Nov. 23.

Bill T. Jones, who won a 2007 Tony Award for his Spring Awakening choreography, directed and choreographed Fela, which played its final performance at 37 Arts Oct. 5, 2008. Jones will repeat his duties on Broadway.

Sahr Ngaujah, who starred in the title role Off-Broadway, will again star on Broadway. Antibalas and other members of the NYC Afrobeat community, under the direction of Aaron Johnson, will perform Kuti's music live onstage.

Producers are Ruth & Steve Hendel and Roy Gabay.

Fela! features a book by Jones and Jim Lewis and utilizes Kuti's own music. Lewis, a Tony nominee for Chronicle of a Death Foretold, also penned additional lyrics.

In Fela!, press notes state, "audiences are welcomed into the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), [the musical] explores Kuti's controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician."

The design team comprises scenic and costume designer Marina Draghici, lighting designer Rob Wierzel, sound designer Rob Kaplowitz and projection designer Peter Nigrini. Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean will provide musical arrangements.

Eugene O’Neill Theatre is located in Manhattan at 230 West 49th Street. Ticket information will be announced shortly.

For more information visit www.felaonbroadway.com.

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