It’s official! Rap-world entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Hollywood actors Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are stepping up to support Fela! The A-listers now have their names over the title of this thrilling Broadway musical after joining the team as producers. They’ll also attend the opening night performance next Monday.
I saw this intense musical in previews last night, more than a year after seeing it twice in its off-Broadway incarnation. The show has made a very successful transfer to the Great White Way. The music is strong, the cast has gotten stronger. Saycon Sengbloh as Sandra Isadore, Fela’s American lover and the woman who introduced him to Black Power, is an amazing addition to the cast. And Kevin Mambo, who alternates with the amazing Sahr Ngaujah in the title role, offers a slightly more serious, less impish portrayal.
It’s a fantastic evening of hot African music and does a decent (if sanitized) job of conveying the story of who Fela Anikulapo Kuti was.
Check out a video sampler from the show after the jump. Continue reading