Fela!, the musical that the New York Times called “A Show That Melts Walls,” is scheduled to come to Broadway where it will be hosted by the Eugene O’Neill Theater.
The show about Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti won strong reviews when it played 37 Arts in an extended run last summer, and this spring it went on to pick up legit kudos including a Lucille Lortel for musical and an Obie for thespian Sahr Ngaujah, who originated the role of Kuti and returns to play the part.
The plot follows not only Fela’s musical career – in which he combined jazz, funk and African traditions to become a pioneer in world music – but also his personal life and work as an activist opposing the corrupt military government of post-colonial Nigeria.
Conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Steve Hendel with a score, comprising Fela’s tunes, performed by Brooklyn band Antibalas, led by Aaron Johnson.
Fela! begins previews Oct. 19 ahead of a Nov. 23 opening.