Saturday December 17, 2011 / 8:00pmFELA!
Front Mezzanine (Rows A-G)
How was your experience?
We came as skeptics, being longtime Fela Kuti fans. So, after the first few minutes it felt very strange indeed- sitting in this fancy theatre in comfortable seats consuming a product from the uber-commercial Broadway/Hollywood axis. Soon however, despite some shortcomings, it was clear that this event- about a figure who died many years ago- has remarkable resonance in our immediate here and now. Sure, Fela's music will live forever, that is certain. However, the developing journey of his life story and the passion of his message is NOW NOW NOW. A very forceful delineation of the momentous 99 vs 1% struggle currently evolving. It is an outstanding and unique musical show. Powerhouse performances, especially from Sahr Ngaujah who delivers one of the most electrifying performances I've ever witnessed in decades of theatregoing. Not the clearest storytelling and a bit simple in its "message" (given the complexities of Nigerian and African politics and social condition)- but that is not its mission. It blows away most criticism with energy and unforgettable music and heart and soul. Those who prefer or expect something like the latest revival of "My Fair Lady" should probably keep away. Those who also appreciate "My Fair Lady" and maintain open minds will be blown away. Important to maintain an open and fair mind not only about theatrical events but more importantly the world around us- all of it. There were many empty seats after the interval - in truth, mostly blue heads and preoccupied yuppies we noticed. Maybe they were the 1%. BTW I'm a 60 year old geezer myself, just for the record. Don't miss it.