Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


FELA! is the electrifying and touching new Broadway musical that tells the true story of Fela Kuti, the legendary Nigerian musician, whose soulful and stirring Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation.
Inspired by his mother, a civil rights champion, he defied a corrupt and oppressive military government and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity.
FELA! is a triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, featuring Fela Kuti’s captivating music and the visionary direction and choreography of Tony-Award winner Bill T. Jones.
His Passion Ignited a Generation.
His Music Fueled a Revolution.
His Legacy Inspires the World.

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Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

Fela! opened at the Off-Broadway 37 Arts Theatre B in New York City on September 4, 2008 and closed on October 5, 2008. It was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Steve Hendel and Jim Lewis, directed and choreographed by Jones, and scenic and costume designs were by Marina Draghici. The cast featured Sahr Ngaujah as Fela and Abena Koomson as Funmilayo, Fela's mother.

The Broadway production began previews at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on October 19, 2009 and opened officially on November 23. Again directed and choreographed by Jones, the cast includes Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo as Fela, Saycon Sengbloh as Sandra and Lillias White as Funmilayo. Patti LaBelle replaced Lillias White as Funmilayo on September 14, 2010. The production closed on January 2, 2011. The Broadway production received eleven Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical, the most of any production that season, along with the revival of La Cages aux Folles.

For both productions, Kuti's music has been arranged and performed by the Brooklyn-based Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra.

The London production, staged at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre, began previews on November 6, 2010 with an opening night on November 16. It is running in repertoire with other National Theatre productions, and is to be simulcast internationally in 2011 as part of National Theatre Live. Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo appear in the cast,[8] as well as Dele Sosimi, former keyboard player of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who is reprising his own role.

"FELA!" is now on tour in the United States. Its opening performance was held Sept. 16, 2011 at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington D.C. The tour's opening performance in Canada was on October 25, 2011 at the Canon Theatre in Toronto, starring Sahr Ngaujah and Adesola Osakalumi, with a scheduled run until November 6, 2011.



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Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Fela!

Version 1

Fela! (2008-09-37 Arts Theatre B-Off Broadway) (Original Off-Broadway)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 04 septembre 2008
Première : jeudi 04 septembre 2008
Dernière : dimanche 05 octobre 2008
Mise en scène : Bill T Jones
Chorégraphie : Bill T Jones
Avec :
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Version 2

Fela! (2009-10-Eugene O'Neill Theatre-Broadway) (Original Broadway)
Durée : 1 an 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre : 34 previews - 463 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 19 octobre 2009
Première : lundi 23 novembre 2009
Dernière : dimanche 02 janvier 2011
Mise en scène : Bill T Jones
Chorégraphie : Bill T Jones
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Fela! (2010-11-Olivier Theatre-National Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée : 2 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : samedi 06 novembre 2010
Première : mardi 16 novembre 2010
Dernière : samedi 23 janvier 2010
Mise en scène : Bill T Jones
Chorégraphie : Bill T Jones
Avec : Sahr Ngaujah (Fela Anikulapo-Kuti - Rolan Bell performs the role at certain performances), Paulette Ivory, Melanie Marshall, Lydie Alberto, Cindy Belliot, Nandi Bhebhe, Ricardo Coke Thomas, Scarlette Douglas, Jacqui Dubois, Poundo Gomis, Jazmine Jarret Thorpe, Aisha Jawando, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Nyron Levy, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Shelley-Ann Maxwell, Tamara McKoy Patterson, Catia Moto da Cruz, Pamela Okoroafor, Jermaine Rowe, Craig Stein. Jonathan Andre, Kwame Peter Crentsil, Sherinne Kayra Anderson, Thierry Picaut
Commentaires :
The London staging began previews on November 6, 2010 with an opening night on November 16 and ran in repertoire with other National Theatre productions. There was a mixed reaction to this show: all agreed it had stunning choreography and a superb cast of singers and dancers, but for many its political message was lost in what was ultimately another “jukebox musical”. By avoiding an honest portrayal (in real life Fela had 27 wives and died of AIDS because of his refusal to use condoms) it was felt this was a whitewash and missed opportunity to create a serious and groundbreaking musical.
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Version 4

Fela! (2011-07-Sadler's Wells Theatre) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 20 juillet 2011
Première : mardi 26 juillet 2011
Dernière : dimanche 28 août 2011
Mise en scène : Bill T Jones
Chorégraphie : Bill T Jones
Avec :
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Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Fela!


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