'Fela': a musical with a message
PHILADELPHIA - March 21, 2012 (WPVI) -- It was a powerful, popular musical on Broadway with political overtones, and now it is playing in Philadelphia.
The Tony-Award winning production called Fela is hoping to bring something new and different to the Academy of Music, but only for a week.
The Academy of Music is rocking this week through Sunday with "Fela!"
The Broadway hit is the story of Fela Kuti, famous for creating Afrobeat music and for taking on the Nigerian government.
"He spoke about the government. He spoke about the corruption of the government, and how it affected the people, especially the people who had no voice," explained Nicole DeWeever.
You may think you don't know Fela's music, but chances are you hear him all the time, sampled by others.
"Once you realize 'I already know that dum, dum, dum. Oh wow, I know that song.' That was Fela," said Daniel Soto.
The show is packed with dancing and singing, and you are expected to join in, maybe even on stage."The first thing we do is breakdown that wall," said Soto. "This is not your
regular theater-goer show, where you just kind of expect yourself to sit there and blink."
But Fela! Also has a serious side. He was beaten and jailed constantly by the Nigerian government, his compound burned and his mother killed.
The takeaway is he never lost his spirit or fight."I think it definitely makes the audience think about what their life means and
what their purpose is," said Soto.
You get music, a message, and a really good time; that is what to expect at Fela.
academy of music, music, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, tamala edwards
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