The Tony Award-winning show, which is co-produced by the stars, tells the story of late Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and features an iconic picture of the singer’s Nigerian nightclub as a backdrop.
Marilyn Nance, the snapper who took the 1977 photo of the Africa Shrine venue, is suing the show’s producers for $150,000 (£100,00) alleging they used the picture without her consent.
In the legal papers, Nance’s lawyer Edward Greenberg writes, “You have employed our client’s registered image without her permission, license or consent.”
The suit also claims the image has been used on souvenir books, the show’s soundtrack CD and in a music video.
A publicist for the production, Richard Kornberg, has acknowledged the legal action and insisted Nance should have notified the producers of the problem sooner.
He tells the New York Daily News, “We tried to resolve the claim but could not, and are now in the process of replacing that image. Unfortunately, this photographer waited two years to voice an objection to our use of this image. Had she notified us earlier, we would’ve replaced it then.”