Adesola Osakalumi and Michelle Williams Lead ‘Fela!’ 2013 National Tour

Adesola Osakalumi Leads the Cast of FELA! on the   2013 National TourThe hit award-winning Broadway musical Fela! is bringing Africa to theaters across the U.S. starting this week with it’s latest national tour, starring Adesola Osakalumi and Michelle Williams, at the Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, DC.

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 committment to the cause of universal human dignity. “More than a musical, an ecs tatic phenemenon” (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).

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.

Osakalumi appeared in the original Broadway production as an alternate Fela Kuti. Williams, who rose to fame as a member of R&B group Destiny’s Child, appeared in Broadway’s Aida in 2003 to critical acclaim and audience raves. Her other theater credits include Broadway’s The Color Purple national tour and the West End production of Chicago where she made history as being the first African American woman to play the lead role of Roxie Hart.

Fela! had its world premiere Off-Broadway in the summer of 2008, and opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neil Theater to rapturous reviews a year later where it played 34 previews and 463 regular performances. Numerous celebrities and dignitaries caught the groundbreaking musical, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Jackman, among others. Prior to its closing on Broadway, London’s Royal National Theatre presented the production as part of its season in the fall of 2010, marking the first time ever that the National Theatre had presented a show that was simultaneously running on Broadway. There, too, the show received rave reviews and numerous awards and accolades. The show went on to tour internationally, selling out theaters in Nigeria, Amsterdam, a return stint in L ondon then a successful tour across the United States, culminating in an acclaimed encore four-week engagement on Broadway during the summer of 2012.

For tickets and tour date information, visit FelaOnBroadway.com.

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