FELA! A New Musical


One of the reason for my NYC trip was to see FELA,  Race or Fences on Broadway. We went to TKTS booth at South Street Seaport to purchase discounted tickets. After waiting for about 15 minutes in the line we got tickets for FELA for $75.

Fela Anikupapo Kuti is a Nigerian composer, musician, performer and human rights activist. He was arrested more than 200 times by a Nigerian government unhappy with his use of music and political meetings to address human rights issues in his homeland. In 1977 during a second government-sanctioned attack, over 1,000 Nigerian soldiers attacked his Kalakuta compound. Fela suffered a fractured skull as well as other broken bones.  His 82-year old mother was thrown from an upstairs window, inflicting injuries that would eventually kill her. The soldiers set fire to the compound and prevented fire fighters from reaching the area. Fela's recording studio, all his master tapes and musical instruments were destroyed. Known simply as Fela, when he died in 1997, he was an international superstar who left some 70 albums as his legacy. Nearly 1 million people attended his funeral.

Fela's Afrobeat music is blend of jazz, funk, salsa and calypso, with juju, highlife, African percussive patterns and harmonies. 
The play was amazing! I laughed, cried (on the inside) danced and sang. I was in awe the entire time. The performers gave an unerring account of a night at The Shrine, Fela's nightclub.


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