With the revival of ‘Funny Girl’ in January now canceled altogether due to budget strife, Michael Ritchie of the Center Theatre Group, which is in charge of the Ahmanson Theatre’s season line-up, now has his hands full with reshuffling problems, but as it turns out, that won’t be his burden for long, at least for the next few months.
‘Fela!’, the Tony Award winning musical about Nigerian activist and Afrobeat music originator Fela Anikulapo Kuti, will move up to the Ahmanson Theatre ’11-’12 line-up, now slated to run from December 14 to January 22, 2012. The musical was originally scheduled to run from April 27 to June 3, 2012. Its new schedule will fit snugly with its current run in San Francisco’s Curran Theatre, which will wrap up on December 11.
The musical is produced by music mogul and rapper Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) and showbiz power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. According to Ritchie, the producers were more than willing to help the Ahmanson Theatre by moving up the show to a much earlier schedule. As such, other shows in the theatre’s season will also be reshuffled and final details regarding the matter will be out in the coming weeks.
‘Fela!’ had a brief but critically acclaimed run in Broadway lasting for 14 months, which concluded earlier this year. Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones helmed the production which he also penned alongside Jim Lewis. Jones took home a Tony for the show’s choreography. The show also won two more Tony Awards for costume design and sound design.