MIDDLEBURY - His music inspired a nation.
Motivated by his mother, civil rights champion Fela Kuti defied a corrupt military regime in Nigeria and devoted his life and music to the struggle for human dignity. His message came across in his inspired, soulful Afrobeat music, which fuels the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that tells his story.
Choreography is by the legendary Bill T. Jones, who has won two of the last four Tonys for choreography - for "FELA!" and for "Spring Awakening." Jones has single-handedly redefined Broadway dance, introducing street dance and his own unconventional modern movement to thrilling effect.
"FELA!" will be broadcast from the National Theater of Great Britain. It has drawn a whole new audience to the south bank theater complex, and the reviewers are celebrating the new energy. The Guardian writes: "I've never seen a show quite like it at the National. It's a great story and one told with enormous verve in Bill T. Jones's kaleidoscopic production. It arrives in the Olivier boasting a terrific 12-piece band, who intensify the music's seductively repetitive rhythms with a lovely laid-back gradualness, and a bunch of knock-out dancers who are the last word in hip-swivelling, butt-brandishing rapture."
"FELA!" will be broadcast on Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater. Tickets are $17 and may be purchased at www.townhalltheater.org, by calling (802) 382-9222, at the THT Box Office, and at the door.