Search This Blog

FELA! MAKES HISTORIC ARRIVAL IN LAGOS, NIGERIA APRIL 20-25, 2011

 The hit Broadway musical about the life and music of Nigerian
performer and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is scheduled to
be performed in his home town of Lagos, Nigeria making it the first
Broadway show to be performed in Sub-Saharan Africa.

FELA!, the landmark Broadway musical, which won three Tony Awards
(Broadway’s highest honor) including Best Choreography (Bill T.
Jones), is coming to Lagos from April 20th to 25th. It will be
performed at the prestigious Eko Hotel’s New Expo Centre, Victoria
Island, Lagos, Nigeria. This critically lauded musical will star its
original Broadway cast with Sahr Ngaujah reprising his Tony-nominated
role of Fela Kuti with music provided by the internationally renowned
Antibalas as well as other members of the New York City Afro-beat
community.
Concurrently with the Broadway production, FELA! opened and triumphed
at London’s Royal National Theater for a three-month sold-out run.
That production was nominated for three Olivier Awards, London
theatre’s highest honor, including Best Musical, Best Actor (Sahr
Ngaujah) and Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones). This Nigerian
engagement will be the first since the closing of the Broadway and
London productions and the NTLive performance which was broadcast to
in 370 cinemas worldwide.

The aim of FELA! in Lagos is to unite and connect Africans in spirit
and unity, to serve as a catalyst for cultural revival in Nigeria, and
to celebrate Fela Kuti, for the contribution he has made to Nigeria
and the world. FELA! depicts the true story of the legendary Nigerian
musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afro beat rhythms ignited the spirit
of empowerment and cultural awareness in a generation. It is a tale
of courage, passion and love featuring Kuti’s captivating music and
the visionary direction and choreography of Tony Award winner, Bill T.
Jones. FELA! in Lagos is being produced by a Nigerian production
company, Broken Shackles in conjunction with Lagos State Government.

Upon its Broadway opening Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote,
"There should be dancing in the streets. 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 has never been
anything on Broadway like this production." The New York Post’s
Elisabeth Vincentelli cheered, "There’s enough energy to short circuit
Con Ed." David Cote of Time Out New York, in giving it 5 stars (out
of 5) raved, "Fela! is more than a musical; it’s an ecstatic
phenomenon." And Jennifer Farrar from the Associated Press exclaimed,
"An exuberant celebration!"

The English critics were equally effusive after the London premiere of
FELA! One critic, Baz Bamigboye of The Daily Mail, summed up the
critical sentiment with his review saying FELA! is a "groundbreaking
show that shook Broadway and London’s Royal National Theatre to the
rafters. Getting Brits to get on their feet and ‘get loose’ as Bill T.
Jones puts it, was a rare feat. FELA! pulled it off by sheer
exuberance and theatrical showmanship. At the same time, FELA!
explored the soul of an artist and the darkness of a government that
tried to block what Fela’s beam exposed."

In addition to rave reviews from critics, FELA! has also won numerous
awards and received standing ovations from such personalities as Mick
Jagger, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Spike Lee, Ben Okri, Janet
Jackson, Denzel Washington, Professor Wole Soyinka, Robert De Niro,
and Hugh Jackman. First lady Michelle Obama, former UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan and President Obama’s Head of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano are but three of the dignitaries who have embraced
this show.

Bill T. Jones, director and choreographer of FELA!, was recently
honored with the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
award along with Sir Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey. The Kennedy
Center Honors are awarded annually for exemplary lifetime achievement
in the performing arts. FELA! also won two Astaire Awards for its cast
and choreography.

FELA! on Broadway was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and
Stephen Hendel. Its producers include the entertainment legends Shawn
"Jay-Z" Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith.

A spokeswoman for Broken Shackles suggests that "with a series of
media partners and sponsorships, FELA! in Lagos will be the most
talked about show in Nigeria for years to come. We have created
sponsorship, branding and advertising opportunities for those who wish
to be a part of this historic theatrical event."



2 comments:

  1. Can't wait to be a part of this awesome event.

    ReplyDelete
  2. are nt we funny in Nigeria, wen will we start appreciating our own, open our eyes to see the values abound in what we have and utilise / exploit them to the fullest.
    FELA IN LAGOS BROADWAY SHOW, produced / packaged by Jay Z, Will Smith Bill T Jones (all foreigners) they've made millions of doll...ar from around the world from selling FELA (even Femi-Fela's son) didnt see the huge potential in selling his fathers name.
    Now they are exporting father back to us here at home for us to buy.
    Guess how much the ticket is N35,000, VIP-N500,000, N1,000,000.
    And Nigerians are paying to go watch it,non of them ever paid even N5,000 to watch FELA while he was still alive, so ridiculous

    ReplyDelete

Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2017 will raise the bar-Ronke Ademiluyi

Veteran actor, Olu Jacobs has commended the organizers of the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, for creating a befitting platform showcasing...