Jay-Z's Fela! Musical Rules Broadway's Tony Awards With 11 Nominations

Fela! the Broadway musical about ’70s Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti scored 11 Tony Award nominations to tie for lead with musical revival La Cage aux Folles. Fela! was a major gamble for producers Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Both Carter and the Smiths joined the show as principal producers with Stephen Hendel and Roy Gabay. Fela! marks a significant departure from standard Broadway musicals, which tend to be conservative if not downright stodgy.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones with a book by Jim Lewis, Fela! explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of the Afrobeat legend.

Kuti’s controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician is told using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies).

The show has been nominated for the following awards.

Best Musical, Best Actor (Sahr Ngaujah), Featured Actress (Lillias White), Director of a Musical (Bill T. Jones), Choreography (Bill T. Jones) and Book of a Musical (Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis).

It was also nominated for Orchestrations (Aaron Johnson), Scenic Design of a Musical (Marina Draghici), Costume Design of a Musical (Marina Draghici), Lighting Design of a Musical (Robert Wierzel) and Sound Design of a Musical (Robert Kaplowitz).

The vibes were good from the outset. The usually jaded hometown press was ecstatic when the show debuted last November.

“There should be dancing in the streets. The hot (and seriously cool) energy that comes from the musical gospel preached by the title character of Fela! feels as if it could stretch easily to the borders of Manhattan and then across a river or two,” wrote New York Times columnist Ben Brantley.

“There has never been anything on Broadway like this production,” he gushed.

“There’s enough energy to short circuit Con Ed,” wrote The New York Post’s Elisabeth Vincentelli.

Source: TheImproper
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Comment by D on May 5, 2010 at 10:49pm
My sista in law played in that
Comment by Juan Dilemma on May 5, 2010 at 9:59pm
Comment by Crossfire 1st on May 5, 2010 at 5:37pm
i keep it 1000 with FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI, he gat death in his pocket 247,, who and who unit 4 united nation FELA said it all..Politicians still up in all our a** playing their games on human race.
Comment by www.iammagnum.com on May 5, 2010 at 5:06pm
thats whats up naija all day real talk piggy small school this n***** even cl smooth sample fela song which was the reminiscence we was buzzing in Nigeria when that music came out in the 90s mayne now nas sampled it again with mally recently KSM s*** was fire mayne at the end of the day we all one since most African American was moved thru slavery form Nigeria Ghana and so on thatnx for the internet for bringing us together.........
Comment by Brown Suga on May 5, 2010 at 4:48pm
ThisIs50 is givng Jay Z a little to much airtime..He has millions of dollrs. These are the kind of things he is SUPPOSE to do. No Biggy!
Comment by Kolt MF Kompozar on May 5, 2010 at 4:06pm
I celebrate all forms of black success on every level, because so little about our culture is given the respect it has achieved, major media always find it important to over dramatize our mistakes with unnecessary negativity, I am sure there were those waiting to be highly critical, I love the union between the mega stars and cheers to all the future projects..."this is fantastic !"
Comment by Ronel on May 5, 2010 at 2:47pm
Comment by Daniel Quintero on May 5, 2010 at 2:38pm
OK OK OK LISTEN.....F*** JAY-Z!!!!!!!!!
Comment by kzm on May 5, 2010 at 1:15pm
That's great! I like that move, Fela is my favorite. This man created a genre of music and fought for the rights of the underprevileged in Africa against the British colonial masters. Jay and Tupac, Mos def to name a few have sampled his music or took interest in his music. He was a black panther and became a conscious musician when he visited the United States and listened to James Brown. Thanks Jay Z for investing in the production, I love Jiggaman, Will Smith and Jada for this. All Black people stand up!
Comment by shodaku on May 5, 2010 at 12:40pm
ok .. making moves

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