Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams will join the national touring cast of “Fela!” at the end of this month.
Williams will join the tour as Sandra Isadore on January 29 when the production arrives in Washington, D.C.
“I am thrilled to join the cast of ‘Fela!,’” Williams said in a statement. “This musical journey is one that I’ve wanted to be a part of since first seeing it on stage in 2008. The sounds, the passion and the politics of Fela Kuti have long intrigued me and speak to my heart. I am simply honored.”
Williams has appeared on Broadway as the title role in “Aida,” and she also portrayed Shug Avery in the national tour of the “The Color Purple.” She also starred in the UPN sitcom “Half & Half.”
“Fela!” is the biography of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who blended funk and jazz with African rhythms to form Afrobeat. The musical focuses on his life in the late 1970s when he was at the height of his musical fame. Williams will play his love interest. Anikulapo-Kuti currently features Adesola Osakalumi and Duain Richmond alternating the role.
The show originally premiered Off-Broadway in 2008 and transferred to Broadway the following year. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and also was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album in 2011. The production played 463 regular performances and 34 previews. The show returned to Broadway for a limited four-week engagement over the summer.
Among others, the musical is produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, ?uestlove and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, who of course is married to Williams’ former Destiny’s Child partner Beyonce.
The Washington, D.C. stop will be the tour’s first stop this year, and productions are currently scheduled through a June 5-9 engagement in Oakland, California.