Original Fela! Cast Member Saycon Sengbloh Will Return to Tony-Winning Musical in Los Angeles | Playbill

News Original Fela! Cast Member Saycon Sengbloh Will Return to Tony-Winning Musical in Los Angeles
Original Fela! cast member Saycon Sengbloh will join the national tour of the Tony-winning musical at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre Jan. 1, 2012, for a limited, one-week engagement.

Saycon Sengbloh
Saycon Sengbloh Photo by Monique Carboni

Sengbloh originated the role of Sandra in the 2009 Broadway production of Fela! She will join her Tony-nominated co-star Sahr Ngaujah, who plays Nigerian musician and political figure Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Sengbloh will appear through Jan. 8, 2012.

Following her appearance in Fela!, Sengbloh will star in the world premiere of Hurt Village, the latest play from Olivier Award-winning Mountaintop playwright Katori Hall, Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre in February.

Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening) directed and choreographed Fela!, which features a book by Jones and Jim Lewis and utilizes Anikulapo-Kuti's own music. Lewis, a Tony nominee for Chronicle of a Death Foretold, also penned additional lyrics. The musical was conceived by Jones, Lewis and Stephen Hendel.

Fela! earned Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones), Best Actor (Ngaujah), Best Featured Actress (Lillias White), Best Choreography (Jones), Best Direction (Jones), Best Orchestrations (Aaron Johnson), Best Scenic Design (Marina Draghici), Best Costume Design (Marina Draghici), Best Lighting Design (Robert Wierzel) and Best Sound Design (Robert Kaplowitz). It took home the honors for Best Choreography, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Design.

In Fela!, according to producers, "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 includes scenic and costume designer Marina Draghici, lighting designer Rob Wierzel, sound designer Rob Kaplowitz and projection designer Peter Nigrini. Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean provide musical arrangements.

Visit CenterTheatreGroup.org.

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