And I'm very excited to be checking this out. Even more excited to be able to take my son to see this, which will be his first Broadway musical.
Of course, I was familiar with Fela Anikulapo Kuti. However, it's easy to forget (as someone who's involved with music here in NYC) that Fela, though an international icon, is not very well known in the United States. Hopefully, this musical will do a lot to change that.
Like I said, I was familiar with Fela, but not intimately. To give myself some background, I watched the 2004 documentary, Music Is The Weapon. Also, I recommend Trevor Schoonmaker's anthology, Fela: From West Africa To West Broadway (2003). Schoonmaker's book was helpful because it compiled articles, interviews and profiles by many writers to create a well-rounded portrait of Fela.
As was the case with Passing Strange, if you're in, near, or planning to be in NYC before January 31, I urge you to see this musical. As the NY Times reviews states:
The astonishment of “Fela!” is that it transmits the force of this
musical language in ways that let us feel what it came out of and how
it traveled through a population.
And that's part of what I'm so excited to see: Black creativity and expression given context and background within a mainstream venue such as Broadway. Further:
By the end of this transporting production, you feel you have been
dancing with the stars. And I mean astral bodies, not dime-a-dozen
- Fela! on Broadway
- Discount codes for tickets!
- NY Times review of FELA!
- G. Kofi Annan's blog post on the musical
- Knitting Factory to release entire Fela catalog
Have you taken the Boldaslove.us black rock audience survey? It only takes 5 minutes! Click here to start.