Producers Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith and Ruth & Stephen Hendel have announced that Grammy Award-winning recording artist and former member of Destiny's Child Michelle Williams will play the role of Sandra Isadore, activist and love interest to Fela Kuti in the national tour of the hit Award-winning Broadway musical Fela!, coming to Cleveland for three performances ONLY at PlayhouseSquare's Palace Theatre, April 2-4, 2013. Tickets are on sale now!
"I am thrilled to be a part of the cast of Fela!," said Michelle Williams. "This musical journey is one that I've wanted to be a part of since first seeing it on stage in 2008. The sounds, the passion and the overall message of Fela Kuti have long intrigued me and speak to my heart. I am simply honored."
Fela! received three 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Choreography. Tickets are on sale now for the 2013 National Tour of Fela! in select cities including Chicago, Atlanta and Miami, among others. For more information on tour dates and cities, please visit www.felaonbroadway.com.
Heralded on three continents, Fela!, a provocative hybrid of dance, theatre and music exploring the extravagant world of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, will star Broadway vet Adesola Osakalumi in the title role, Melanie Marshall*, who won raves both at London's National Theatre and on Broadway, plays Kuti's pioneering mother and Michelle Williams in the role of Sandra Isadore, activist and love interest to Kuti. Duain Richmond will play the title role at certain performances.
A triumphant and inspirational tale of courage, passion and love, Fela! is the true story of Kuti, who created a type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these pounding eclectic rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies) with rousing lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria and much of Africa. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones's visionary staging, the global phenomenon that is Fela! reveals Kuti's controversial life as an artist and political activist, while at the same time celebrating his pioneering music and commitment to the cause of universal human dignity. "More than a musical, an ecstatic phenomenon" (David Cote, Time Out New York), Fela! "Is a spectacularly inspiring hybrid: theater, music, dance, biography, history lesson, political rally and religious experience. Sublime!" (Joyce Kulhawik, JoycesChoices-Boston, MA).
Fela! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones, it was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel.