Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Music is a Weapon
It's no secret that one of our favorite artists is Fela Anikulapo Kuti. This past weekend, a few of us had the chance to see Fela!, a new off Broadway musical. It was epic!!! The play did an amazing job of helping you to find deeper meaning in Fela's lyrics and helping you understand the stories behind his most popular songs.
Director Bill T. Jones and crew took a little theater and turned it into The Shrine (Fela's nightclub in Lagos). The actors came out singing and dancing on every open space in the room. They put you right in the middle of the party. Within a few minutes, actor Sahr Ngaujah had you totally convinced that he was Fela. He talked like him, sang like him, moved like him, and even played sax like him. It was scary.
One of the most important bands of the recent "afrobeat revival", Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, provided the musical backdrop. Their sound was so tight you swore you were listening to Egypt 80 killing it on your favorite Fela record.
I think Fela! is on hiatus for a little while but I'm sure it will be traveling the globe in a few months. If you see this musical coming to your city, don't hesitate! See it!!!
More info here:http://www.felaoffbroadway.com/
Here is a video clip... but this just doesn't do it justice!