After much talk and a bit of rumor mongering about whether it would ever come together, Fela! (the musical) has opened to rave reviews on the Great White Way here in New York City.
In this new musical, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones with a book by Jim Lewis and arrangements by Aaron Johnson and Antibalas, audiences are welcomed into the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), Fela! explores Kuti's controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones's imaginative staging, this new show is a provocative hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater.
Look for a review in the coming days, but GR would simply like to publicly give a shout out to its friends in Antibalas as well as everyone else involved.
Presented by Hendel/Gabay Productions. At 37 Arts, 450 West 37th Street, Manhattan (212) 560-8912. Through Sept. 21. Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes.