FELA!, the most critically acclaimed musical of the season, received three 2010 Tony Awards®: Best Choreography, Best Costume Design for a Musical and Best Sound Design of a Musical! His story inspired a nation. His music inspires the world. FELA! tells the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation. Motivated 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.
With the blessings of the Kuti family, in 2009 the show opened at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and with Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith coming on board as Producers, over the next 15 months, played to half a million people. Celebrities kept coming; Madonna, Denzel Washington, Ben Stiller, Mick Jagger, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee (8 times!) Kofi Annan and Michelle Obama, to name but a few. The show received 11 Tony nominations and three Tony Awards for Best Choreography, Best Costumes and Best Sound. In 2010, whilst still on Broadway, a second company was formed to present a sold-out season of performances at London’s prestigious Royal National Theatre.
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