Jay-Z, Betty White, Rachel Dratch, et al. Do SNL, 5/8
Jay-Z, rapper and producer of the Broadway musical FELA! will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live's May 8th episode, according to reports.
FELA!, the new musical based on the life and music of groundbreaking African composer, performer and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, is currently enjoying a critically acclaimed run at Broadway's EuGene O'Neill Theatre (230 West 49th Street) starring, in addition to Mr. Ngaujah and Mr. Mambo, Lillias White and Saycon Sengbloh. This new musical is directed and choreographed by Tony® Award-winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening), with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo play the title character at alternate performances, while the world renowned Antibalas and other members of the NYC Afrobeat community, under the direction of AaRon Johnson, perform Kuti's rousing music live onstage. Fela! was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel.The episode will be hosted by Betty White and will feature Saturday Night Live alumni Rachel Dratch, Ana Gastever, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, and Maya Rudolkph. Dratch was a member of the mainstage cast of The Second City comedy troupe for four years. She received the Joseph Jefferson award for Best Actress in a Revue for the latter two revues in which she performed: PARADIGM LOST, and PROMISEKEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS. At Second City she performed alongside future SNL head writers Adam McKay and Tina Fey, as well as future "30 Rock" performer Scott Adsit. The first incarnation of her SNL "Wicked" sketch was performed in Second City's PARADIGM LOST. In addition to acting, Dratch also played the cello onstage. The theater also hosted the first incarnation of DRATCH & FEY (her critically praised two-woman show with Tina Fey) which was later performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. Dratch has appeared in several movies, including "Martin & Orloff," "The Hebrew Hammer," "Down with Love," "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star," "Click," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Spring Breakdown" and "My Life in Ruins." She also has joined fellow SNL cast members on "A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.: Improv" which aired September 7, 2005, on the Bravo channel. Dratch has also made television appearances on NBC's "Third Watch" and in a recurring role on "King of Queens" (playing Denise, the on-off girlfriend of Spence, who worked in a bowling alley). Other television appearances include "Monk", ""Frasier", "Wizards of Waverly Place", "30 Rock" and more recently, the season 3 finale of "Ugly Betty." She is also a frequent guest in the New York production of "Celebrity Autobiography." Gasteyer most recently appeared on Broadway in THE ROYAL FAMILY. She has also appeared onstage in Broadway productions of THE ROCKEY HORROR SHOW, WICKED, THE THREEPENNY OPERA, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, and FUNNY GIRL.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.