By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The critically acclaimed National Tour of FELA! is in Philadelphia this week at the Merriam Theater. Among the cast members is Michelle Williams of ‘Destiny’s Child.’
FELA! is a musical about the legend and legacy of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader who popularized a style of music he created in the 1970’s and named it “Afrobeat.”
Politics of the time also mixed into the show.
Cast member Adesola Osakalumi has the title role.
“Fela lived a very dramatic interesting life,” Osakalumi says. “I think when people see the show and leave the show, they walk away with a renewed sense of community, a renewed sense of involvement and realizing that each individual, each single individual can make a difference in their community and in a larger context, the world.”
Entertainer Michelle Williams plays Sandra Isadora, Kuti’s love interest.
“Well we love to have fun on stage and no two shows are the same,” Williams says, “so there’s no telling what you are going to see on stage on any given night, but kind of come to the theater with a different frame of mind what a musical theater is or what the show is all about.”
FELA! runs now through Sunday, March 17th at the Merriam theater.
Listen to the entire interview with the cast of FELA! in this CBS Philly podcast: