Fela! to Be Broadcast Live Across Canada and the World
Published Jan 06, 2011Fela!, the much-celebrated musical biography of Nigerian musical and political icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is coming to a cinema near you.
The musical played its final Broadway show on January 2, and its production at London's National Theatre, where it has been playing since November, will be broadcast at dozens of Cineplex Odeon theatres across Canada on January 13. The production will also be shown in theatres in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, across Europe, and in South Africa.
The highly acclaimed and popular musical has had a circuitous journey to the National Theatre. Beginning as an Off Broadway production in 2008, the musical, which chronicles the life and struggles of the main force of Afrobeat, enjoyed great buzz for its choreography by Bill T. Jones and musical treatments by Antibalas. This led to Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett to sign on as producers as the show moved to Broadway the following year.
Last year, Fela! was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won three. Over its year-plus Broadway run, the show played to more than 400,000 people and received plaudits from Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Spike Lee and Toni Morrison.
The broadcast follows last year's reissues of Kuti's catalogue by Knitting Factory Records, marking the second such wide-scale reissue of Kuti's work since his death in 1997.
The London production features only one holdover among the actors from the New York production: star Sahr Ngaujah, who has received raves for his portrayal.
A link to all venues worldwide participating in the broadcast is available here.