November 9, 2009

If You See One Show in New York This Year, Make It This One...

OK, so this has nothing to do with spoons, tomfoolery, or food at all, but I just had to do this plug. I just saw Fela!, a new musical on Broadway playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theater in New York, and WOW just doesn't do it justice. YOWZA! is more like it. I do have a personal connection to this show, as our Best Man in our recent wedding, Jordan McLean, co-wrote and directed the musical portion of this amazing theatrical event. Two other members of the sextet that played with Jordan at our wedding, Stuart Bogie and Dylan Fusillo, are also part of the complete music ensemble for this show, and I have literally become these dudes' biggest fan (well, next to their respective significant others, of course).

This show is really like no other you'll ever see, and I'm not just saying that because of my close ties to the music. It's about Fela Kuti, the Nigerian jazz god responsible for bringing the jazz club scene to Nigeria in the late 70s and for pioneering the whole Afrobeat sound. From the get-go, you are made to feel like you're in Fela's club; the whole theater is outfitted to look just like it, and extended-circle cast members are littered about, down aisles, along the stage, and in the box seats, in character and bringing you into their fold. The dancers combine native Nigerian rhythms with jazz club sex appeal, and hoo wee! Are they a bunch of hot chicas! Tony Award Winner Bill T. Scott choreographs, and well, you take one look at the guy at age 57 and you know you'll be feelin' the steam all night!

It's been a very, very long time since I've seen a Broadway show, and as a former theater student in high school, I've seen a lot of them. But you ain't seen nothin' yet, folks! If you find yourself in NYC this holiday season and are looking for a crazy fun time, go check this one out. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and then you'll wish you could go and feel that energy every night of your life!

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