Photo Flash: FELA! Opens in LA!
"Fela!," the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award®-nominated musical, opened 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.
"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.
Photo credit: Lily Lim
Sheryl Lee Ralph with her children Etienne and Coco