After successful Broadway runs of musicals influenced by the music from pop artists such as Billy Joel, ABBA, and Bob Dylan, and the recent recognition of hip hop by this year's Tony Awards, what else is left? Sure, The Color Purple was huge smash prior to Fantasia's disappearing acts during the Broadway run, but what about off-Broadway, that frontier that is often host to some of the most experimental and artistic (and sometimes that can equal horrible) stage productions near The Great White Way? Fela!, the off-Broadway musical choreographed by the legendary Bill T. Jones and starring Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Anikupalo Kuti a/k/a the James Brown of Africa a/k/a the one artist on constant rotation in my household, will begin its nine-week run tonight and end on September 21st at 37Arts Theatre in New York City. Did I also mention that the musical is being performed and was arranged by neo-Afrobeat band Antibalas? To those of you who know your Afrobeat, you know this is not an event to be missed. And if anyone makes it to a performance, be sure to hit us up at [email protected]. For more information on Fela!, be sure to visit the official website. For a behind-the-scenes look at the musical, be sure to check the video after the bounce.
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