Fela! Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Feb. 19-23 2013

Don't go expecting a coherent, detailed chronicle of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's life and work. This energetic, highly entertaining musical does touch on the main points of the Nigerian musician's career: his development as an important contributor to the Afrobeat sound, his sometimes eccentric political activism, and, most notably, the murder of his mother by government troops in 1978. But the material is used mostly to frame Fela's music. As conceived, directed, and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, the show focuses on recreating the look, sound, and feel of the live performances Fela put on at his club, the Shrine. The current touring production features former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams as Black Panther Sandra Isadore. Yet it really belongs to Adesola Osakalumi, who gives a charismatic performance as Fela. Although he's onstage for most of the show, his incandescence never dims. --Jack Helbig

Price: $20-$70

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