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I Don't Do Broadway, But I Will Do Fela!

I Don’t Do Broadway, But I Will Do Fela!

| On 21, Sep 2011

I Don't Do Broadway, But I Will Do Fela!

Back in the day, when I thought about Broadway, the words “boringggggggg” would always cross my mind. Although I was exposed to it growing up, I just didn’t feel any connection with it. Nope, none. I was more interested in partying, hanging out with my friends and doing just about anything else I could get into.

As I get older I can see my taste changing and I find myself seeking more interesting avenues to please my creative needs.  When a good friend of mine invited me to New York to see Fela!, I was initially resistant to attend but I agreed.

I did some light research on the reviews and I ended up learning that more and more celebrities are crossing over into the world of Broadway, testing their true entertainment value and pleasing their theatrical roots. 

Grammy award winner Alicia Keys recently produced Stick Fly, which is set to release this November. Earlier this year Brook Shields starred in The Adams Family Broadway Musical as Morticia. I mean, the list goes on. But when I read Jay-Z and Will & Jada Smith had their hands in Fela!, I didn’t have to do any more reading. Yep, I had to go. So off to the big apple I went…

The Real Fela

Who is Fela? Fela Kuti is known to many as a political activist, human rights activist, musician and composer.  Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Until his untimely death, at the age of 58, Fela left behind a legacy to his followers. He proved to be a extraordinary musical innovator, political nonconformist and pioneer of the Afrobeat (traditional Yoruba, funk and jazz). Fela was also known for producing more than 70 albums, marrying over 27 women at one time and having over 200 arrests.

I Don't Do Broadway, But I Will Do Fela!

Fela’s following was so abundant over one million people were in attendance at his funeral in 1997. The restoration of Fela into modern pop culture captured the attention of many, thus attracting a multitude of visitors to the Fela! World Tour. The rhythmic Afrobeat sounds have mesmerized many and continue to spark the interests of new listeners everyday.

My Thoughts On The Show

Every moment of it was exhilarating! Although the average length of each song is 15 minutes or so, every minute will capture your heart. Fela’s captivating story telling and comical addiction to pot (which is mentioned often in the play) kept me attentive during the whole 2 hours and 35 minutes in its show time. His most recognizable hits “Zombie” and “Unknown Soldier” help complement this creative theatre piece that depicts Fela’s eventful life.

If your new to Broadway, Fela! would be the perfect show to transition you into this new world. Broadway is not what it used to be 10 years ago. Fela! has definitely set the bar and the tone for musicals soon to come. I encourage you to see Fela! in a city near you. If you are a Broadway veteran, I am sure that a three-time Tony Award winning play is something that you do not want to miss. I promise you that Fela! is anything but boring! 

Did you see it? What did you think? Have you already set your pandora to his station?


Marie Young

I am all about experience, travel, good living and enjoying life!
  • Chasing Moe

    I grew up listening to Fela, so I really hope I get to see this play before it ends.