Fela Kuti

An $11 million dollar musical production of a Broadway play about the life of Nigerian icon Fela Kuti is being financially supported by heavyweight Hip/Hop star Jay Z and Hollywood actor Will Smith.

Last year in NYC the original version of the play starring actor Sahr Ngaujah as Kuti opened off-Broadway with critical acclaimed. Due to the large success of the play Ngaujah will reprise his role in the Broadway version of the play that was written and co-produced by Steve Hende.

Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones will choreograph and direct the production while using the same Afro-Beat style of music, a fusion of jazz, funk, rock, traditional African chants and rhythms that the singer created with his Black-Panther inspired group, Africa 70.

In 1984 Kuti, was jailed by the Nigerian government on a dubious charge of currency smuggling. He died in 1997 due to complications from AIDS.

Even though the play does not open till November, fans will be able to preview it starting October 9 and purchased tickets on September 28th.

Written by Valerie Varasse

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