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Hot Date: Fela Kuti’s Groovin’ for Good Governance

Sahr Ngaujah stars as Fela Kuti in Fela! (photo by Monica Carboni)

OCTOBER 25 TO NOVEMBER 6 Fela Anikulapo Kuti has been described as Che Guevara and Bob Marley rolled into one. A fitting description, as throughout the 1970s and ‘80s Kuti utilized his big band–styled music as a conduit for scathing critiques targeted at the oppressive military regimes in his native Nigeria. The creation of his unique sound and the story of his activism are showcased in Fela!, the hit Broadway musical now on stage in Toronto for a limited engagement. Featuring lively performances, electric choreography by Bill T. Jones, and Kuti’s legendary brand of Afrobeat—a fusion of jazz, funk, rock, and African chants and rhythms that he created with drummer and comrade Tony Allen—this Tony-winning production offers a powerful political statement backed by some of the 20th century’s most vital music. Canon Theatre, Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. and
8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., $35 to $130; call 416-872-1212 or click here for tickets.

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