"Fela!," the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award®-nominated musical, opened last night, December 14th, 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. Check out photos from opening night below!
"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.
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Photo Credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
Melanie Marshall and Sahr Ngaujah with Sandra Iszadore and Paulette Ivory
Sandra Iszadore, Paulette Ivory
Sahr Ngaujah and Sandra Iszadore
Sahr Ngaujah, Kim Raver
Gelan Lambert, actress Kim Raver and cast members Aimee Graham Wodobode and Oneika Phillips
Melanie Marshall and Sahr Ngaujah
Jermaine Rowe and Sherinne Kayra Anderson pose with producer Stephen Hendel and Nandi Bhebhe and Rasaan-Elijah "Talu" Green
Sahr Ngaujah, Edward L. Rada
Sahr Ngaujah and CTG Managing Director Edward L. Rada
Kim Raver, Ismael Kouyate and producer Edward Tyloer Nahem
Oneika Phillips, Kim Raver
Stephen Hendel, CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, Sandra Iszadore and producer Edward Tyloer Nahem
Melanie Marshall and produer Stephen Hendel
Stephen Hendel and cast member Oneika Phillips
Ismael Kouyate, band member Mike McGinnis, cast member Oneika Phillips and band member Bryan Vargas
Gelan Lambert, Jill Marie Vallery and Poundo Gomis