Monday, September 19, 2011

Things to Do: FELA! at the Shakespeare Theatre

Last week I had the privilege of attending the opening week of FELA! in DC. It had been nearly two years since I'd first heard of the Broadway musical surrounding the life and music of Nigerian artist Fela Kuti. I'd planned on seeing it with some friends but we somehow never got around to making the short trek to NYC to see it.

Fast forward to earlier in the spring, I saw an announcement that FELA! would be traveling to DC and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. FELA! will be running through October 9 at the
Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall.

We arrived about 15 minutes before the show and were immediately seated in the first row of the mezzanine. I typically prefer orchestra seating but that was all that was left at the time plus I got the seats at a significant discount, and they offered an amazing view of the vibrant set so I was pleased.

The show started slightly after 8:00 at which time we were greeted by a group of performers walking through the theatre. It was their intention to give the impression we had been teleported back in time to the Shrine nightclub in Nigeria when Fela was a musical icon.

From that moment on, everyone was captivated by the actor who portrayed Fela Kuti as well as the entire cast, from the band to the signing and dancing performers. My friend and I were amazed at some of their dances and how they remained energetic throughout the entire 2.5 hour performance. I don't want to give up too much about the lively performance but I'll say there was quite a bit of audience participation and everyone had a chance interact with the performers.

I highly recommend that everyone, over the age of 18 (there were some mature parts) go see FELA!. It was such an amazing experience! Honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt so energized after seeing a theatrical performance. Make sure you go out and see it and let me know what you think!

Special Offer: Purchase tickets online or by phone and use code 'FELATHANKS' to save 10%. For more information, visit:

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