*R&B diva Patti LaBelle is headed to Broadway in September to join the hit musical Fela!.
According to The New York Post, she’ll step in for Tony Award winner Lillias White in the role of mother Funmilayo Kuti while White performs a series of concerts in Australia. [Scroll down to view White in the role.]
Specific dates for LaBelle’s performances will be announced shortly.
LaBelle’s Broadway run marks her first since 1998′s solo concert series “Patti LaBelle on Broadway.”
The singer also appeared on Broadway in the musical revival of Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, and has starred as Mama Morton in the Los Angeles run of Chicago.
In Fela!, which features a book by Jones and Jim Lewis, audiences are welcomed into the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), in a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater, the show explores Kuti’s controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician.
Below, Lillias White as mother Funmilayo Kuti in Broadway’s Fela!.