Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
November 1, 2014

THE REAL MONSTERS

DorianGray via Getty Images

What Can Mandela's Jail Cell Teach Us About Leadership?

Nelson Mandela President
TREVOR SAMSON via Getty Images

Theodore Wafter's Lawyer: 'Ghost Of Trayvon Martin' Was In The Courtroom

Renisha Mcbride
Thurswell Law

How Mississippi's Racist Past Is Harming It's Future

Mississippi State Flag
Matt Trommer via Getty Images

No, Being Black and Gay Does Not Suck

Black Gay Men
Hero Images via Getty Images

Voters In 14 States Navigating New Rules While Trying To Cast Ballots

Voting
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Dante Martin Guilty Of Manslaughter In Hazing Case

Dante Martin
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Street Harassment Happens In Every Neighborhood, Even Wealthy Ones

Woman On Street
Petri Artturi Asikainen via Getty Images

A Republican Midterm Wave Will Further Sink Black America

Obama
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images

Lawmakers 'Disturbed' After NYPD's Highest-Ranking Black Officer Resigns

Chief Philip Banks
ASSOCIATED PRESS

There's History Behind Those Halloween Blackface Fails

The Jazz Singer Blackface
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Al Sharpton Calls For Federal Prosecution In Ferguson

Al Sharpton
Donald Traill/Invision/AP

Nelly Reveals Why He's Worried About What May Soon Happen In Ferguson

Nelly Ferguson
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Boyz II Men: We 'Represented Our Race' With Future Artists In Mind

Boyz Ii Men End Of The Road
HuffPost Live

Walking The Streets Of Baltimore With The Other Barksdale

Baltimore
Kyle Reid/Getty

Advocates Demand The NYPD Stop Handcuffing 5-Year-Olds

Handcuffs
Chris Mathias

Man Convicted Of Double Murder In Landmark Case Released From Prison

Alstory
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Problem With That Catcalling Video: They Edited Out All The White Guys

171248054
olaser via Getty Images

Ta-Nehisi Coates On White Supremacy And A Life Of Struggle

Ta Nehisi Coates
Leigh Vogel via Getty Images

It's About Time Someone Other Than Straight White Males Got To Be Superheroes

Chadwick Boseman
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Twitter Account Leaking Details About Ferguson Investigation Was Hacked, Prosecutor Claims

Bob Mcculloch
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why Black Women Are Less Likely To Survive Breast Cancer

Black Woman Patient
Siri Stafford via Getty Images

Halloween: The Season for Culturally-Insensitive Fashion

Native Feathers
Milk & Honey Creative via Getty Images

Mitt Romney: Obama Hasn't Given The Poor And Minorities Enough Gifts

Mitt Romney
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Beyond Ferguson -- Unrepresentative Democracy in City Elections

Election
Blend Images - Hill Street Studios via Getty Images

Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis for Black Women

Here Is Why 'Redskins' Shouldn't Be Heard On Television

No Honor In Racism
Red Circle Agency

California Health Officials Investigate Illness At NAACP Conference

Ambulance
PNC via Getty Images

Chicago Man Says Police Stormed His Home After He Was Just Walking Down The Street

Arrest Video
NBC Chicago

Cosby Has No One to Blame But Cosby for His Sullied Image

Bill Cosby
Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Watch Nas React To Seeing An Ancestor's Bill Of Sale Into Slavery

Nas Finding Roots
PBS

Republicans Fear Price To Pay For Attacks On Black Interests

Vote
Blend Images - Hill Street Studios via Getty Images

Zambian President Michael Sata Dies

Michael Sata
Pool via Getty Images

Ebola Appears To Be Slowing In Liberia: WHO

Liberia
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Giants Are World Series Champions!

Giants World Series
Pool via Getty Images

Suspected Boko Haram Militants Attack Another Nigerian Town

Nigeria Soldiers
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Watch This Dancing Traffic Cop Tear Up The Roads With His Sweet Moves

Dancing Cop
WTHI

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. Black Voices
    4. View all RSS feeds

North West Is The Only Skunk You'd Want To Be Around

North West Skunk
Instagram

Why, Eight Years After It Ended, The Wire Remains America's Best Example of Racial Melodrama

Wirehbo1031
The Wire HBO

WATCH
Chris Rock Preaches About The Top 5 Halloween Costumes

Chris Rock
NBC

Bad News For Pharrell And Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke Pharrell
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

23 Things Any 'Scandal' Fan Knows To Be True

Olivia Pope Scandal
Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

What Nelly Tries To Remember About Raising Kids Today

Nelly
HuffPost Live

Why Deion Sanders Will Never Be On 'DWTS'

Deion Sanders Toe
HuffPost Live

Chris Rock Shows A Totally Different 'Prince' In 'SNL' Promos

Snlrock
NBC

Rihanna Gets Risqué For AmfAR

Rihanna
Steve Granitz/WireImage

The Real Story Behind Boyz II Men's Estranged Fourth Member

Boyz Ii Men
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

'SNL's' Michael Che Takes Heat For Street Harassment Comments

Michael Che
NBC via Getty Images

Things You Don't Know Your Natural Hair Can Do

Teyonah Parris
Bright Ideas Magazine

WATCH
This Was One 'Thriller' Of A Baseball Game

Thriller
AOL Huffington Post Video

Viola Davis Explains Why The Wig Had To Come Off

How To Get Away With Murder
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

This Is The Greatest Boxing Moment Since 'Rocky'

Tyson
NBC

At Least Theophilus London's New Song Features Kanye West

Theophilus London
SoundCloud

This Is What Happens When Fred Armisen & Ice-T Play Video Games

Ice T
Andy Kropa /Invision/AP

Marvel's Making A 'Black Panther' Movie

Chadwick Boseman
Andreas Rentz via Getty Images

Man Arrested For Pot Tells Cops He's Denzel Washington

Justin Lee Seay
Rutherford County Jail

13 Real-Life Struggles Of Perpetually Forgetful People

Forget
Imgur user: larhavoc

Dionne Warwick: Don't Call Me A Diva

Dionne Warwick
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

That Time Blake Griffin Attended A 'White Party' At Donald Sterling's House

Blake Griffin
YouTube

David Oyelowo Talks 'Selma'

Selma
CloudEightFilms

How Beyoncé & Jay Z Spent Their Monday Night

Beyonce Jay Z Nightcrawler
Mammoth PR

Fela! on Broadway: Hip-Hop & Hollywood A-Listers to Add Boost

Comments (3)

Fela! On Broadway: Hip Hop & Hollywood A-Listers To Add Boost

Hip-hop royalty is returning to Broadway.

Following in the same vein as Russell Simmons' Tony Award-winning turn with 'Def Jam on Broadway' and Sean 'Diddy' Combs' big splash in Kenny Leon's revival of 'A Raisin in the Sun,' Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are taking on the Great White Way.

Contract talks have been going on for weeks between the hip-hop and Hollywood A-listers and the 'Fela!' creative team, and today, Richard Kornberg, Billy Zavelson and Tommy Wesley officially announced that the trio has joined the production team of the musical, which chronicles the life of African musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

The glitzy partnership will hopefully bring in the same star power that Oprah Winfrey's name did for 'The Color Purple' in 2005.

Late last year, The Roots drummer Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson appealed to 200 of his entertainment industry colleagues via e-mail blast to attend the sold-out limited run of the off-Broadway musical

"It's uncut. It's true to the vision. It's amazing! There is no option. I expect death to be the only reason why you did not see this production," he wrote in his letter.

He closed the plea with: "Get off your ass and see this now."

Now that the show is headed to Broadway, it has been given an $11 million makeover and is set to open at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Nov. 23.

Beloved Tony Award winner Lillias White joined the cast as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend's mother.

And when Sahr Ngaujah -- who mastered the complex lead role when the show debuted off-Broadway, last year -- isn't working his magic on the masses, Kevin Mambo (right), a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner takes over the role.


Thompson, whose reach has only expanded since The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon's late-night television show, continued to make an impassioned plea for more of his celebrity friends to invest in and support the show, and it seems his calls have been answered.

The addition of Jay-Z and the Smiths could boost ticket sales, which have been reportedly low thus far.

"My job is to be the mouthpiece that can at least catch the ear of a power player for Hollywood and the industry," Thompson, who is also a producer on 'Fela!,' said.

Getting Carter, with whom he has collaborated with, to give 'Fela!' a chance wasn't too difficult a task, thanks to the interests of the Brooklyn MC's superstar wife.

"This play really hit Beyonce in the gut, which in turn really hit [Jay-Z] in the gut, and he was excited about it."

Alicia Keys was also confirmed to have seen 'Fela!' at Thompson's urging.

Similarly, hip-hop star K'naan, who says "Broadway will never be the same now," after having an early look at the show encouraged Mos Def -- who starred in the critically acclaimed play 'Topdog/Underdog' -- and Nas to check it out.

The show's lead producer, Stephen Hendel, said that "these prominent celebrities are also approaching us because they want to be involved in bringing something important and new to the culture."

As previously reported, Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones serves as the show's creative force.



Comments: (3)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 1

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."