Michelle Williams to Join National Tour of FELA!January 4, 2013
Producers Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith and Ruth & Stephen Hendel have announced that Grammy winner Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s Child, will play Sandra Isadore in the national tour of the Tony-nominated musical FELA!
Best known as a former member of Destiny’s Child, Williams made her Broadway debut in the title role in AIDA in 2003 and also played Shug Avery in the 2007 national tour of THE COLOR PURPLE. “In 2009, Williams made her West End debut as the first African American actress to play Roxie Hart in CHICAGO, a role that she reprised on Broadway in 2010” (broadway.com). She has also toured in WHAT MY HUSBAND DOESN’T KNOW and has released three solo albums.
“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 and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. Conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel, “FELA! tells the story of iconic Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti and his life as an artist, political activist and revolutionary musician. In addition to forming a political party and running for president several times, Kuti created the enormously influential style of music known as 'Afrobeat,' which blended jazz, funk and African rhythms and harmonies” (broadway.com).
The tour’s sixteen-city engagement kicks off at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC on January 29 and stop in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, and more. FELA! comes to PlayhouseSquare April 2-4, 2013.
For more information about Fela’s stop at PlayhouseSquare, click here.