Fela! the Musical??
Yup! You read the title correctly! Bill T. Jones, the Tony Award winner, is directing and choreography a musical about Fela Kuti, focusing on the period "when 1,000 soldiers stormed his compound in Lagos in 1977 and threw his mother, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, a prominent activist, from her window; she later died from her injuries. In the musical Mr. Kuti wonders whether he should give up, and he muses mischievously on the idea of himself as a rebellious political leader, a 'black president.' "
To add the necessary Kuti musical flare to the show, the director has gotten the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, a Brooklyn group that recreates Fela's sounds to perform. The new Off-Broadway production starts in September and well, considering Fela is definitely not mainstream music here in the U.S., it will be interesting to see how it does. I, for one, am very hopeful.
Below you can listen to Antibalas:
You can read more about this musical in the NY Times article here.