Fela! Tony Award-winner Lillias White joins cast
Tony Award-winner Lillias White will join the cast of Fela!, the new Broadway musical based on the life and music of African composer and performer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, playing the role of the iconic artistï¿½s mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
White, a native New Yorker, has performed at major venues around the world from New York to Singapore, L.A. to Sydney. An actress and singer, Lillias has achieved success on Broadway in such hits as 'Barnum,' 'Dreamgirls,' 'Cats,'' Once On This Island,' 'How To Succeed In Businessï¿½,' 'Chicago' and' The Life,' for which she won the Tony Award for her performance as 'Sonia.'
Fela!, the critically acclaimed musical that had its world premiere last summer at Off-Broadwayï¿½s 37 Arts, will arrive on Broadway this fall opening at the Eugene Oï¿½Neill 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.
As previously reported Sahr Ngaujah will return in the title role, while Antibalas and other members of the NYC Afrobeat community, under the direction of Aaron Johnson, will again perform Kutiï¿½s music live onstage.
Further casting is to be announced shortly.
Winner of this yearï¿½s 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.
Originally published on