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Speaking Of Destiny: Michelle Williams Joins Fela Touring Company

I guess Michelle Warner will be taking the day off from her role in the touring company of "Fela" to perform with Beyonce at this years Superbowl. "Nuclear", the new Destiny Child's song, has been roundly dissed but I thought it was no worse than the new efforts by Timberlake or Bowie, ie not bad but not great.

And, say what you will, Beyonce managed to do something Diana Ross never did, dump her band and remain close and not just the song but Jay-Z is one of the producers of the "Fela" touring company, a sort of quixotic quest to bring the African American working class into the (musical) theater. I mean, August Wilson this ain't. Personally, I think Tomas Docker's "The Power Of The Trilogy" is a better attempt but then again, Tomas doesn't have the name recognition, just the songs.

Meanwhile, here is the press release: 

"Producers Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ruth & Stephen Hendel are pleased to announce that Grammy Award-winning recording artist Michelle Williams, of Destiny's Child fame, will join the national tour of the hit Award-winning Broadway musical Fela! beginning when the multi-city engagement kicks off at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC on January 29 and travels to Detroit, Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, Schenectady, Memphis, Dallas, Cleveland, and Los Angeles (full tour schedule is listed below). Williams will play the role of Sandra Isadore, activist and love interest to Fela Kuti.

"I am thrilled to join the cast of Fela!," said Michelle Williams, "This musical journey is one that I've wanted to be a part of since first seeing it on stage in 2008. The sounds, the passion, and the politics of Fela Kuti have long intrigued me and speak to my heart. I am simply honored."
 
Fela! received three 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Choreography. Tickets are on sale now for the 2013 National Tour of Fela! in select cities including Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami, among others. For more information on tour dates and cities, please visit www.felaonbroadway.com
 
Fela! is the true story of Fela Kuti, who created a type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these eclectic rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk, and African rhythm and harmonies) with rousing lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria and much of Africa. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs, the global phenomenon that is Fela! reveals Kuti's controversial life as an artist and political activist, while at the same time celebrating his pioneering music and commitment to the cause of universal human dignity.
 
Fela! opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neil Theater in 2009 to rapturous reviews, where it played 34 previews and 463 regular performances. Numerous celebrities and dignitaries caught the groundbreaking musical, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and Hugh Jackman, among others. The show went on to tour internationally, selling out theaters in Nigeria, Amsterdam, a return stint in London, and then a successful tour across the United States, culminating in an acclaimed encore four-week engagement on Broadway during the summer of 2012. 
 
 
FELA! TOUR DATES
 
Washington, DC 
Shakespeare Theatre Company  
January 29-February 10
 
Detroit, MI 
Music Hall 
February 12-17
 
Chicago, IL 
Arie Crown Theater 
February 19-23 
 
Charlotte, NC 
Blumenthal Performing Arts 
February 25 – 26
 
Atlanta, GA 
Fox Theater 
February 28 – March 3 
 
Schenectady, NY 
Proctors Theater 
March 8-9
 
 
Nashville, TN 
More details to come 
March 12-14
 
 
Memphis, TN 
More details to come 
March 15-17
 
 
Miami, FL 
Adrienne Arsht Center 
March 19-24
 
 
Cleveland, OH 
Palace Theater 
April 2-4
 
 
Tuscon, AZ 
UA Centennial Hall 
April 12-13
 
 
Tempe, AZ 
Gammage 
April 23-24
 
 
Los Angeles, CA 
Ahmanson Theatre 
April 25-May 5
 
 
Dallas, TX
Winspear Opera House 
May 7 – 19
 
 
Seattle, WA 
The Paramount Theater 
May 28 – June 2
 
 
Oakland, CA 
More details to come 
June 5-9

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