fela_broadwayThe 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.”

For sponsorship, advertising and brand affiliation opportunities, please email sponsorship@felainlagos.com

For more information on FELA! please visit http://www.felainlagos.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/felainlagos
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/FELA-in-Lagos/168784349834737

For all press and public relations matters please email pr@felainlagos.com

Bigsam Media
Lagos | Nigeria
February 28, 2011.

For inquiries, interviews, photo, clarifications, please contact
bigsammedia007@gmail.com,  007@bigsammedia.com Phone: 08028302862.


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