Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fela! the Musical

You know I had to see a musical while I was home. Obviously. And what better choice than a musical about something near and dear to my heart? Nigeria. Well, a Nigerian anyhow. I had heard about it when it first opened and asked my Broadway guru and multiple-times-a-week theatre goer friend about it. She love love loved it and had already seen it several times. But, she said she'd be more than happy to go again with me. Done and done.

What musical is this, you may be asking? None other but Fela!. It's a musical about Fela Kuti, a Nigerian singer in the 1970s who invented the genre of Afrobeat, a fusion of traditional African rhythm with jazz, funk, and psychedelic rock. Through his music he spoke out pretty harshly against the corruption of the Nigerian government, and he basically was an all-around pretty controversial figure. Great material for a musical.

It was awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. The music was stellar- most all of it was just his music. The dancing. The costumes. The set. Great. Great. Great. I feel like I'd need to go back a few more times just to catch everything that was happening on stage! And I felt I understood it so much better after living my life with dozens of Nigerians. While I thought it was great, I don't know that I would recommend it to everyone. It's big and brazen and loud and exciting and involves lots of hip gyrating and some audience participation of the dancing variety. All of which I loved, but, for instance, I would never recommend it to my parents. They would hate it. Maybe your parents are different. But if and when it wins a bunch of Tonys, I can just imagine a little old white lady going and being So Not Thrilled.

That caveat aside, I thought it was a phenomenal musical and am only sad that I can't go back again anytime soon.

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