Fela!: Saycon Sengbloh to play 'Sandra', further casting announced

Saycon Sengbloh is to play 'Sandra' in Fela!, the new Broadway musical based on the life and music of African composer and performer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Sengbloh joins the company after appearing as a member of the 'Tribe' in the Broadway musical 'Hair.' On Broadway she understudied as 'Aida,' and officially played the role from 17 - 29 Jun 2003. She has also understudied the roles of 'Elphaba' in 'Wicked' and 'Celie' in 'The Color Purple.'

Kevin Mambo also joins the cast, alternating the lead role of 'Fela Anikulapo-Kuti' with Sahr Ngaujah. Mambo is best known for his role on the CBS Daytime serial 'Guiding Light' in the role of'Marcus Williams' which won him two Daytime Emmys.

As previously reported Sahr Ngaujah returns to the title role, for which he won an Obie Award for his performance off-Broadway. Tony Award-winner Lillias White will play his mother, 'Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.'

The ensemble for the musical will feature *Corey Baker, Hettie Vyrine Barnhill, *Lauren De Veaux, *Nicole Chantal de Weever, Elasea Douglas, *Rujeko Dumbutshena, *Aimee Graham Wodobode, *Rasaan-Elijah 'Talu' Green, *Ismael Kouyate, Gelan Lambert, Shakira Marshall, Afi McClendon, Adesola Osakalumi, Jeffrey Page, *Daniel Soto, *Iris Wilson, Catherine Foster, *Abena Koomson, Farai Malianga and J.L. Williams.
*These cast members also appeared in the Off-Broadway production.

Antibalas and other members of the NYC Afrobeat community, under the direction of Aaron Johnson, will again perform Kuti�s music live onstage.

Fela!, the critically acclaimed musical that had its world premiere last summer at Off-Broadway�s 37 Arts, will arrive on Broadway this fall opening at the Eugene O�Neill Theatre on 23 Nov 2009, following previews from 19 Oct.

This new musical, based on the life of African composer, performer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening), with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones.

Winner of this year�s Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and Best Choreography, Fela! was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Steve Hendel.

The musical is about the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), Fela! explores Kuti's controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician.The show is a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater.

Presented by Ruth & Steve Hendel and Roy Gabay, Fela! will feature a multi-cultural cast led by Sahr Ngaujah, who received an Obie Award for his performance in the title role Off-Broadway.

Scenic and costume design is by Marina Draghici, lighting design is by Rob Wierzel, sound design is by Rob Kaplowitz and projection design is by Peter Negrini. Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean have provided the musical arrangements.

Click here to buy tickets for Fela!

Originally published on

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