Archive for the 'Fela!' Category

Dec 11 2009

Shake your body (the more the better!!!!!!!)

Published by harshita parikh under Fela!

As the dancers shook their bodies on the stage—-their dance and the rocking my music completely shook my senses. I was mesmerized and so was Ben Brantley! As Mr. Ben Brantley puts it “this is music that gets into your bloodstream, setting off vibrations you’ll live with for days to come. That the beat goes on, insistently and persuasively, makes “Fela!” nigh impossible to resist.” I completely agree with Brantley in that the show was truly irresistible. And as i watched the rest of the audience members standing and dancing “one o’ clock and two o’ clock” along with Fela I knew that this was true for each and every person sitting in the audience.  I will definitely remember the experience of seeing such an involving and vibrant Broadway show forever. Further what made the show an excellent package of entertainment was that the dance and the music was not just for fum but had a underlying purpose of revolt against the oppression in Nigeria. HIdden symbolism was all around – in the words of the song, in the portraits of civil leaders on the walls of the shrine, in the shrine itself, in the life lessons of Fela’s mother – this play was no foolish endeavor to draw the audience solely for it’s entertainment value but a skilled art form that payed a worthy tribute to the man who fought for an equally worthy cause (freedom for the people of his country from the oppressive government).

3 responses so far

Dec 11 2009

More!! We Want More!!

Published by Jason Wat under Fela!

fela12Even though Fela! was somewhat hard to follow for me, this broadway was the best I had ever seen. It was exciting, interactive and very funny. It was everything great mixed into one giant performance.  In the short time of the show, it was able to explain the life of Fela. What was most interesting to me was the music. The music was new and fresh. It was amazing how Fela influenced others threw the music he created. With the power of music, many began to follow Fela’s ideas and actions. Through all the laughs, singing and dancing, Fela was able to show us a deep meaning behind his actions. Trying to create his own country, free of the Nigerian government, Fela’s actions were brave and influential. With the support of his mother, Fela had been able to get through a lot, as there was a great significance in the picture of Funmilayo on the wall throughout the show. It was a great performance that taught me much about the life of Fela.

3 responses so far

Dec 11 2009

Funny Enthusiastic Lovable Activist = FELA!

Published by Rhianna Mohamed under Fela!


“Wow!” was my first reaction as I stepped foot into the Eugene O’Neill theater that night. The graffiti-designed shrine, the photos, the computer screens, and then finally… the band from New York’s magical city of Brooklyn, Antibalas. Afrobeat music, hips that don’t lie, and Fela Kutti (acted by Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo – alternating) are more than enough to get a crowd singing “Yeah, Yeahyaaaah.” Never did I imagine that the audience members would be standing up, dancing along with the Broadway production. It is for this action, for this fun, that William and Jada Pickett Smith and Jay Z have taken on roles as producers of FELA!
I had the best time at the theater that night – it was informative, thought-provoking, fun, and exciting. As I ran from 49th Street to Penn Station, all I repeated was “Yeah, Yeahyaaaah”.. I loved it and if given the chance, I’m sure I can learn the clock dance a little better. That’s the effect such a production has on a person. 🙂

9 responses so far

Dec 10 2009

I Like To Move It, Move It

Published by Nguyen Chi under Fela!


Rating: 5 stars


Ben Brantley was surprised when he saw no one swaying their hips or jumping up and down on the street after the audience left the “Fela!” On Broadway Performance. Well, I would like to tell Brandtley that he was watching “Fela!” on the wrong date because I was dancing all the way home after watching the musical. (This is a bit of an exaggeration.)

Brantley, like many other critics, gave “Fela!” a great rating, and compliments. Even though Brandtley did not think that Mr. Ngaujah, who plays Fela Kuti, has a strong “musical presence,” but still appraised him for being a “lucid story teller.” I, however, do not agree with Brandtley on this point. I believe that Mr. Ngaujah’s performance greatly resembles that of Fela Kuti when he performed at the Shrine in Haiti.

Side note: so last week, I saw the Fela! cast performing on the Stephen Colbert show and I thought I was in love. You should check it out at the Colbert Nation website.

11 responses so far

Dec 09 2009

“I Hold Death In My Pouch. I Cannot Die.”

Published by Samantha under Fela!

Black President

Like Fela Kuti the man, Fela! the play pushed limits and raised the bar. From the moment you walk in there is an energy in the air that is unexpected and refreshing from a Broadway play. Fela!, as cliche as it sounds, is truly a must-see for everyone from everywhere. Not only is it possibly the most fun you can have on Broadway, but it is also educational in a sneaky way that you don’t notice you’re learning until the performance is half way over   >.>

Truly a renaissance man, Fela! was seriously the highlight of the year (even though doing the multimedia projects involved literally no sleep x_x). He was a talented musician, singer, and a well-educated activist. It was also nice to see how one man was so heavily influenced by the women in his life. But it’s a shame that almost none of us had ever heard of him now. He made (I think) as big of an impact in the world as Nelson Mandela, but he seems to exist in obscurity. On the bright side we should be seeing a biopic on him pretty soon. The world could really use more Fela Kutis.

3 responses so far

Dec 09 2009

Feeling FELA!

Published by Mary Priolo under Fela!

imagesCA0NDFPDUncommon to the other events that I have attended so far I found FELA captivating. From the second I walked into the Eugene O’Neil Theater the air changed mostly because of the music. The mood could not have been set better if it was not longer a show but reality.

     The thing that caught my attention throughout this show was that the audience never lost interest, and that was in part because of the interest in the show, and also because of Sahr Ngaujah. From the beginning he got the audience involved and he never looked back, never lost them. I found this show to be both entertaining and informative.

     What impressed me the most however was that despite all the dread of yet another even, it would have been a great challenge to find a person who regretted attending. Even Brantley would agree, fantastic performance.

3 responses so far

Dec 08 2009

I Feel Good!

Published by Alina Pavlova under Fela!

The extent to which this Broadway musical was pushed was one that I didnt think possible.

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2 responses so far

Dec 08 2009

Fela’s Party On Broadway

Published by Kay Mok under Fela!

Watching “Fela” and other dances sing and perform is like going to a party.  The Eugene O’Neill Theater in Midtown Manhattan was transformed into Fela Kuti’s “Shrine” in Lagos, Nigeria, with the audience coming from everywhere to see the performance. The stage design was terrific and it contributed to the ability to allow audience participation to an extent. The entire audience participated—some danced, others attempted to dance, and some are just too embarrassed to dance but still moved along with the music.

musical Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Dec 07 2009

I agree

Published by blah under Fela!

Ben Brantley’s review of FELA! was pretty accurate. It’s fresh and vibrant, very different from most Broadway plays because in was so engaging. The music certainly made all the difference; it flowed through the audience and made them want to join in. The review is mostly positive; but I also find myself agreeing with the small and obscured negative remarks about the play. It was a little too much crammed into one play and some of the information regarding his life did go in one ear and out the other. Other than that, FELA! was a history lesson that made you want to learn.

One response so far

Dec 07 2009

Something old, Something new

Published by blah under Fela!

If I had to describe the production in terms of art; I’d say that it was like graffiti mixed with voodoo paintings. FELA was a fusion of modern and ancient. It was a splash of new color and sound, yet; it was surprisingly familiar. Yeah, we’ve all read about the Civil Rights Movement and how it change America. After a while we stop listening because it’s constantly shoved into history lessons and even English readings. FELA was different, it didn’t meekly offer lessons of black history; it was more of a punch in the face. And it felt good.

It’s been a long time since I actually become excited over history lessons. I did a little research on the production later and found out that the imitation of The Shrine is actually very close to the original. The actors and actresses were powerful and exotic. The music was familiar afrobeat with a hint of ancient chants and songs. It was nice that the audience actually got to participate; Fela (Sahr Ngaujah) pumped us up for the dancing and cheering. The projections and “shrine” paintings made it feel like the actual Shrine.

3 responses so far

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