Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review of Fela! at Arie Crown Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Fela. And it was a biography about a singer and saxophone player named Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (Adesola Osakalumi). The plot was about Fela trying to get the bad government in Nigeria out of power because they were doing terrible things to him and they actually killed his mother (Melanie Marshall). At the beginning of the show he said, "This is our last performance and we are going to be leaving soon." But then he never leaves actually because he doesn't get his blessing from his mother. She thinks he should stay there and overthrow the government people because he wanted to president. And all the people wanted Fela to be president instead of all the stupid guys who searched through people's poo. He was rebelling against the stupid government in two ways, not just because of the lyrics that he wrote, like "Zombie," but the government didn't want the people to be happy and his music makes people happy, so that's a rebellion.

There is this song that I thought was really cool. It was called "Zombie." It was called "Zombie" because it was about the soldiers and how they would do anything they were told, so it was like they kind of didn't have a brain. "Zombie" was an awesome song because it had an amazing dance. The dance showed them all pretending to be zombies--everybody was doing this scarily awesome zombie dance. I liked the song as well because of the repetition. Sometimes repetition can annoy people, but sometimes it can also help you in making a song because it can be very catchy actually.

At one point in the song "Breaking it Down," it was very cool because Fela had lots of people on the stage and in the audience shake their butts. It seemed pretty fun. Even my mom shook her butt. I think some people thought it was strange and just stood there and just looked horrified. They kind of were like zombies. I was shaking my butt because I was awesome. His point is Afrobeat is awesome because you get to shake your butt. It gets you movin', as he said. It made me feel like I was the awesomest queen of shaking my butt in the audience. On stage, the actual queens of shaking their butts were shaking along with us. Ok. That is enough talk about shaking butts.

There was this really cool song called "Upside Down" and it was about Fela finding this girl Sandra (Michelle Williams) who came from America who was really interested in Africa. And they were discussing Africa. And they were also discussing about what it was like to be in New York and Los Angeles. It was really cool because there was a scene where they were using books as props for dancing. I thought it was very funny that the girls in big fancy African dancing outfits were reading books from a library. I am not saying that Africans can't read, I am just saying I think they would change clothes before they went to the library.

There was this scene that I thought was really cool because it had Fela go see his mother up in heaven. He asked her if she would give him her blessing so then he could leave. But she said no. So then he couldn't. There were some really awesome costumes in this scene. I thought that the really awesome costume was a monster-like African spirit. It was like four layers of hoops covered in confetti.

If you take kids, you should remind them before the show that are going to be big scary booms and bangs and people running through the audience screaming their heads off because the compound is being attacked. I don't even want to talk about what happened to all his wives. They made it so scary because they wanted to make you scream your head off and to feel an actual emotion not like it was just a play.

Here is something that happens to me when I am in a very interesting show, like in Fela. I get so absorbed in the show like I feel like I'm really a part of the show. Until somebody next to me starts doing something distracting. Like in this case, I was enjoying the music and absorbed in it and then this lady started rocking out next to me and pushed her coat onto me. She just distracted me out of my beautiful fugue.

People who would like this show are people who like dance, history, and shaking their butts. People should go see this show because it makes you groove to the music and lets you have a new sense of what kinds of music there are in the world.

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