Click Read More/Comment for additional pictures. The epitome of true broadway magnetism, a hypnotic wild fire that refuses to let you go, Fela on Broadway presented by JayZ , Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, brings the uncanny reincarnation of the revolutionary Fela Kuti back to our generation on the stage of the Al Hirschfeld theater in NY. Back on Broadway till August 4th, this 11 nominated 3 time Tony award winning show, with contagious audience interactions, narrative that will never cease to make you laugh and a cast that far precedes most, this biomusical is comparable to no other!
Based off the life of Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, human rights activist and pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Fela on Broadway not only highlights most of Fela’s original music that openly confronted the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorship in Nigeria at that time but delves into the close relationship with his mother Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, who influenced his life as a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement, his encounter with the Black Power movement through a partisan of the Black Panther Party, Sandra Smith who would later greatly impact his music, social and political views, formation of his own political party, practice of polygamy with 27 wives (yes, 27) and continuous harassments from the Nigerian Military especially due to views from his 1977 released album, ‘Zombie’ a term Fela used to dub the methods of the Nigerian Military, which eventually led to the violent assault to his family, friends and murder of his Mother. Though with many serious undertones do not be confused, Fela on Broadway provides constant interweaving of comedy elements that will have you laughing throughout the show and oh yeah then there is the dancing but we will get there in a minute because that in itself needs its own shine.
With the invigorating and spellbinding Sahr Ngaujah (as well as Adesola Osakalumi) portraying Fela Kuti, the enchanting Melanie Marshall as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the undeniably mesmerizing Paulette Ivory as Sandra Smith, enticing sounds of all the musicians, the underlying creativity of the set, the stunning boldness of every costume and then last but certainly not least, the dancers…the ensemble who portray many of Fela’s wives mimic reality, as many were dancers, singers and composers, this cast pulls you in, captivating all your senses until the lights come on and you are awakened from a trance like state! Yeah it’s that good, which explains why Spike Lee has seen this show 8 times!
But as we mentioned the choreographed dance arrangement set the course of the show, leaving little left for the imagination to visualize. With the most enrapturing hip movements that would put most pop divas to shame, but to know fault of their own since the choreography was conceptualized by the legendary Billy T. Jones who won a Tony for best Choreography for Fela on Broadway, this incredible jaw dropping beautifully arranged ensemble of dancers create the undertone for the entirety of the show making it extremely hard to stay in your seat.
Fela on Broadway shows us the power that Fela and his music had on a nation and this power did not exclude the theater goers that night. If the uncontrollable standing ovation that pursued after the finale from the packed house, gives you any indication the power Fela’s music possessed, then you can perhaps understand why the Nigerian government feared Fela at that time.
If you want some advice on how to cool down this summer, well this ain’t it because the heat that transmits from Fela on Broadway is alone enough to ignite the theater aflame, from a man who created more than music but an entire movement!
*Fela on Broadway runs till Aug 4th. Hurry and don’t miss your chance to see this amazing Tony award winning show –> Fela on Broadway tickets
We initially announced selecting one winner for the ‘Fela on Broadway’ tickets giveaway for you and a guest, but because we have so much love for all of you, we are now are announcing three winners…yes THREE! So don’t forget to enter for your chance to win by this Sunday, July 22nd at midnight EST here –> Fela on Broadway with Producers Jay-Z, Will Smith & Jada Pinkett, Easy Steps on How to Win Free Tickets from UBB
*Stay tuned for backstage access with the cast next week