Fela! to play at the Shakespeare Theatre Company

Aug 15, 2011
Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall

After thrilling audiences on three continents, the hit musical FELA! makes its way back to the U.S. to the Shakespeare Theatre Company. FELA! will be presented at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) after its West End performance, kicking off a National tour. Presented by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ruth and Stephen Hendel, in association with The National Theatre production, FELA! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones. Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah returns to star as Fela, the role he originated in the Broadway production. The rest of the cast is comprised of the best of Broadway and London's Royal National Theatre companies. FELA! will run from September 13 - October 9, 2011, at STC's Sidney Harman Hall.

FELA!, the winner of three Tony Awards, is the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful 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 Bill T. Jones. Time Out New York proclaims that "FELA! is more than a musical; it's an ecstatic phenomenon." Bill T. Jones says of the production, "One has to experience it as much with one's hips as one's ears, eyes and mind."

"We continue to strive to bring some of the best theatre productions to D.C. that wouldn't be seen here otherwise. We are thrilled to present Bill T. Jones' exciting mix of world music, theatre and dance that tells the story of Fela Kuti," says Chris Jennings, Managing Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. "The Shakespeare Theatre Company has presented hugely successful productions of Ph├Ędre, The Great Game: Afghanistan and Black Watch, and we've seen that theatregoers in the D.C. area have a tremendous appetite for top-quality presentations." STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn adds, "FELA! is original and exciting, the perfect show to compliment our 25th Anniversary Season. I'm thrilled to welcome Bill T. Jones and the amazing cast to our theatre."

Tickets are now on sale to the general public; please call 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org to reserve tickets for this production.