Fela - Opening Next Wednesday, December 14th at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre



 “Fela!,” the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award®-nominated musical, opens next Wednesday, December 14, at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The musical, filled with the exuberant music of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, will continue through January 22, 2012. There will be one preview performance December 13, 2011.
 “Fela!,” which is based on the life of the charismatic Kuti and is highlighted by many of Kuti’s most captivating songs, has a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones, music and lyrics by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, additional lyrics by Jim Lewis, additional music by Aaron Johnson and  Jordan McLean, and was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel. “Fela!” features the visionary direction and choreography of two-time Tony Award-winner Jones (“Fela!” and “Spring Awakening”), who was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2010.
A triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, “Fela!” is the true story of Kuti, who created a new type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these pounding eclectic rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies) with incendiary lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that rule Nigeria and much of Africa.  His songs of rebellion were an inspiration to millions.


The cast features Sahr Ngaujah and Adesola Osakalumi alternating as the title role of Fela, Melanie Marshall as Funmilayo, Paulette Ivory as Sandra, Rasaan-Elijah “Talu” Green as Djembe-‘Mustafa,’ Ismael Kouyaté as Ismael and Gelan Lambert as J.K./Tap Dancer/Egungun.
In addition, the ensemble includes Sherinne Kayra Anderson, Jonathan Andre, Cindy Belliot, Nandi Bhebhe, Catia Mota Da Cruz, Nicole Chantal De Weever, Jacqui Dubois, Poundo Gomis, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Oneika Phillips, Thierry Picaut, Jermaine Rowe, Daniel Soto, Adé Chiké Torbert, Jill Marie Vallery, Iris Wilson and Aimee Graham Wodobode.
The kinetic energy pulsing from the music and dancing of “Fela!” prompted Ben Brantley of The New York Times to say “There should be dancing in the streets” when it opened on Broadway in 2009.
This “singular, sensational show . . .” (Brantley) is an “. . .electroshock for the soul,” said Peter Marks of The Washington Post. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times said “Fela!” is “. . .the most exuberant musical I’ve seen this fall . . . the fusion of his [Fela’s] sound is rapturously celebrated with a pinwheel parade of pelvises . . .Under [Bill T.] Jones’ inclusive vision the production becomes a party, in which the power of the people is unleashed with a contagious jiggle.”


Fela!” received a total of 11 Tony Award nominations in 2010.
Fela!” was previously scheduled for April – June 2012, but is now being presented earlier in the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre’s 2011-2012 season at the Los Angeles Music Center.
Tickets for “Fela!” are available by calling (213) 972-4400 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.
Center Theatre Group  
L.A.’s Theatre Company
Ahmanson Theatre  |  Mark Taper Forum  |  Kirk Douglas Theatre
601 West Temple St.  Los Angeles  CA 90012
213.972.7376    FAX: 213.972.7746   

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