Fela(2009) BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • AP

  • NY POST

  • VARIETY

  • USA TODAY

Opening Night:
November 23, 2009
Closing:
January 2, 2011

Theater: Eugene O'Neill Theatre / 230 West 49th Street, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

In this revolutionary new musical, audiences are welcomed into the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo 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.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    November 23, 2009: "There should be dancing in the streets. When you leave the Eugene O’Neill Theater after a performance of “Fela!,” it comes as a shock that the people on the sidewalks are merely walking. Why aren’t they gyrating, swaying, vibrating, in thrall to the force field that you have been living in so ecstatically for the past couple of hours?"

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    November 23, 2009: "Fela Anikulapo-Kuti seems an unlikely subject for the star of a Broadway musical. He was a most scrappy fella, internationally famed Nigerian musician and combative political activist."

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    Plenty of Afro-Heat

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    September 24, 2009: There's enough energy in the first act of "Fela!" to short-circuit Con Ed. It spills over from the stage and into the orchestra seats, boundless and joyous: This is as close as Broadway gets to fully immersive theater.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    November 23, 2009: "Will the average Broadway matinee lady be comfortable participating in a practical demonstration of how to tell time with her ass? That's exactly what takes place in "The Clock," a particularly frisky sequence of "Fela!" in which the entire audience is on its feet learning from the able-bodied dance corps what Swiss-movement booty work is all about. And it's just one of countless ways in which Bill T. Jones' wildly loose-limbed journey into the throbbing heart of Afrobeat breaks bold new ground in musical theater."

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  • USA TODAY REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    November 23, 2009: "It may be worth nothing that this decade's most exhilarating new Broadway musicals were developed, at least in part, by creative carpetbaggers."

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  • TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW OF Fela(2009)

    November 23, 2009: "The Shrine may have gotten a lot bigger, but the religion of Fela! has not grown less electrifying. Just over a year after Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis’s musical about Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti had its cramped premiere Off-Broadway at 37 Arts, it’s now blasted into the Eugene O’Neill, where its creators - and its superstar producing team, which includes Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith - are intent on proving that a bigger hall is just as apt a venue for its political-party aesthetic. They got it half right."

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