Well before the short run of the sweaty-and-wonderful Fela! ended at 37 Arts theater last year, there was talk it would move to Broadway as early as this Spring. Well, that didn’t happen. But Bill T. Jones clearly hasn’t given up hope he’ll be able to move the show — which tells the story of the creator of Afrobeat music, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, through his music — to the Great White Way.
Equity chorus calls have been announced for May 4 and 5. They’re looking for dancers, drummers and such for a development project over the summer that is expected to lead to Broadway this fall. (Thanks to @activecultures for spotting this!)
The off-Broadway cast was spectacular, with fine dancing, drumming and singing (Ismael “Bon Fils” Kouyate of Brooklyn’s Mandingo Ambassadors was particularly memorable) with tremendous support from an onstage band consisting of members of Brooklyn’s Afrobeat band Antibalas.
Here’s hoping the auditions yield a great crop of talented performers for the Broadway run. With luck, Antibalas will return in some form as well.
But what about Sahr Ngaujah, who channeled the master so well and picked up a best-actor nomination in the Lucille Lortel Awards because of it? Will he be back? It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role, so pitch-perfect was Sahr’s portrayal.
Stay tuned for more.