• Like Us on Facebook
  • Follow Us on Twitter
  • Subscribe on YouTube
  • Check Out our Flickr Photos
  • Impact Broadway RSS Feed
23 Feb 2010

FELA! Review

News No Comments

Eric Escalante
Impact Broadway
City College of New York
Theatre Undergraduate Student
Concentration and Interest: Directing and Playwriting


Fela! is an experience that any person with the passion, desire, and commitment towards leaving a mark, contributing to the growth of, and fully impacting the Broadway community and the new direction world theatre is taking should live. It is a powerful and dynamic musical performance, a compelling and moving storytelling journey and an unforgettable interactive audience experience that honors the life, the genius and stamp in the world of the artist Fela Kuti, and his music, Afrobeat.

The writers and co-writers of the production were very loyal to the rich and beautiful Nigerian culture which Fela is a part of. Bombarded with abundant body movement and West African dance, dynamic rhythms, live instruments, colorful set, lights and costumes, and bodies jumping, crumping, and flying around the stage in a euphoric team of artists made the experience fierce and thrilling.

We experience the growth and transformation of the great artist and how his ideals and vision for music, art, humanity and the world developed, strengthened and eventually materialized. The show leaves us with a message of hope and responsibility as to what is our role in today’s rapid changing world, and essentially, how much weight are we willing to carry towards progress?

The show went from tragic moments of grief and loss in Fela’s life that strengthened his journey and message to the world, to moments of aggressively joyous music that put the audience to its feet to shake its God given endeavors. It was also enchanted with magical moments of Fela diving into the world of the spirits and saints, with dancers and singers giving life to the intangible world of faith and hope, an experience that is rare in our contemporary theatre, directed to the heart more than the head (no words can describe it, must be seen!). The ensemble of artists, musicians, dancers, actors, producers and directors present on the stage for us a product that is as close as a theatrical out of body experience can get, one that makes us forget about our worlds and realities, and, for a moment that can’t be measured, one can feel and live the world of the stage.

Bill T. Jones, the choreographer and director of Fela! really is on a mission to re-invent American Theatre. He brings for the Broadway community and the youth of the Impact Broadway community a message that says it’s ok to step out of the norm to create something extraordinary, it’s ok to move in new directions, and it is normal for theatre to be fluid, it’s its nature. It’s time to open doors for the inventive, for outside influences, and it’s healthy to welcome the infinite world of the experimental to explore and never arrive. He serves as a sign-post for future artistic generations of NY and the world in a road that already exists, but now needs and demands to be walked.

No Responses to “FELA! Review”

Leave a Reply