“Fela!” returns to D.C.’s Warner Theatre


Sahr Ngaujah returns to play Fela Kuti in the energetic, genre-busting musical “Fela!” It lands at the Warner Theatre Jan. 26-29, after a run in Los Angeles. The show’s run at Shakespeare Theatre in September was described by Post theater critic Peter Marks as a “madly physical, prodigiously exuberant bio-musical.” (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

The musical — which traces the story of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian brass player and political firebrand who happened to have a penchant for grass and women — will return to Washington, this time to the Warner Theatre, for six more performances Jan. 26-29, with the magnetic Sahr Ngaujah back in Fela’s tight bell bottoms, rallying his audience to stand up against corruption and intimidation.

Check out a few excerpts from Post critic Peter Marks’s review from the September run of “Fela!” (Read the full review here.)

“Although burdened by a sense of self-righteousness bordering on religious - at nearly three hours, it's way too long - "Fela!" is a madly physical, prodigiously exuberant bio-musical, infused with African brio and outrage.”


“At center stage about 95 percent of the evening is the inexhaustible [Sahr] Ngaujah, who evokes Fela in all his charismatic, self-regarding, bravely outspoken, monomaniacal glory.”

“At one point, Fela reveals that he's written a movie called "Black President." An open-ended question subtly presents itself: Might a President Kuti have been capable of his own sordid excesses?”

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.
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