The Magic of FELA!

The Magic of FELA!

The story of Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti that took 'the Great White Way' by storm is now touring the country. Here's how it all came to be

Luvvie Ajayi

by Luvvie Ajayi, April 12, 2012

The Magic of FELA!

with Jay-Z, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith on board as Producers. The 15-month run was a huge success, and half a million people came to see the story of the legend, including the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of London. When he saw the show, he was so amazed by it that he asked if they could bring it to England. No Broadway show has ever been asked to create a repertoire of itself in London, until Fela! Nevertheless, a second team was trained in London by Bill T. Jones and team to run a parallel production of Fela!, and it was broadcast in over 400 theaters around the world. In fact, the cast of Fela! today is half of the original Broadway company and half from the London run. This is also historic because Broadway shows never tour with their original casts.

The show introduces Kuti's legacy to a new generation that’s largely unaware to his contributions as to the world, musically and politically. Fela! tells us about the man whose passion for social justice and love of his people led to countless losses and pain, yet he never stopped standing for his beliefs. At the end of the show, you walk out inspired. While also trying to figure out how those dancers moved their hips like rubber. It’s edutainment (education and entertainment) at its’ best and one of the most amazing theatrical experiences I’ve ever had.

The show is on a national tour across the United States. It’s currently in Chicago until April 15, 2012. Below are the rest of the dates:

Boston MA – Cutler Majestic Theatre – April 24-May 6, 2012

Baltimore, MD – Gilliam Concert Hall – May 15-May 20, 2012

Houston, TX – Jones Hall – June 5-June 10, 2012

St. Paul, MN – Ordway Center for Performing Arts – June 12-June 17, 2012

Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter