Biographical musicals tend to sugarcoat the details of their subjects’ real lives, such as Annie Oakley’s tone deafness and Simba’s tendency to eat meerkats. Sing along to historical accuracy with this GrouponLive deal to see Fela! at the Merriam Theater. Doors open one hour before showtime. Choose from the following show and seating options:
- For $34, you get one weekday ticket for Family Circle seating, rows A–E (up to a $58 value, including all fees).
- For $46, you get one weekday ticket for side- or rear-balcony seating (up to a $78 value, including all fees).
- For $58, you get one weekday ticket for side- or rear-orchestra seating (up to a $98 value, including all fees). <p>
For the three seating options above, choose from the following performances:
- Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m.
- Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m.
- Sunday, March 17, at 1 p.m.
- Sunday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m.<p>
Doors open one hour before the show.<p>
Nominated for 11 2010 Tony Awards and the winner of three, the inspirational musical Fela! thrills the senses with stunning choreography, elaborate sets, and soulful sounds as it celebrates legendary Nigerian musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. In telling the legend’s astounding life story, Fela! explodes with dances set to original Kuti songs performed by the touring Broadway cast and former Destiny’s Child superstar Michelle Williams. Williams, who recently joined the production, has plenty of previous experience on the stage—along with her time in Destiny’s Child, she has been a cast member in Broadway’s Aida and The Color Purple. In 2009, she made history by being the first African-American woman to play Roxie Hart in the London West End production of Chicago. Williams, along with her esteemed cast, interpret Kuti’s musical journey. Kuti sowed the seeds of Afrobeat music, which finally gave the world something to dance to besides Morse code. The sonic movement intertwined political themes, native harmonies, and energetic instrumentation such as bombastic horns and galloping congas to fight for civil rights and squash government oppression in a nonlethal fashion. Bowling over critics and presented by showbiz moguls Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith, the powerhouse spectacle packs an indomitable spirit of courage, passion, and love, leaving audiences spellbound and gratefully afflicted with restless-body syndrome.
The building that would eventually become Merriam Theater opened as the Sam S. Shubert Theater in 1918, honoring the famous, theater-owning Shubert family’s youngest member, who died tragically in a train accident a decade earlier. Following the fortunes of its fellow theaters, the Merriam’s inaugural years saw success with toe-tapping Gershwin musicals and spine-tingling Shakespearean performances by John Barrymore. As vaudeville petered out and the country slid into a depression, the theater struggled to pay the bills through more tawdry means, hosting burlesque shows and letting patrons see the stage without its curtain. The University of Arts eventually bought the building in 1972, and restored the venue to its former glory as host to the country’s finest performers.