What Is Fela! About?
Upon entering the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, audiences of Fela! find themselves in the “Afrika Shrine,” a 1970s Lagos nightclub and political stage belonging to the show’s namesake central character, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Through song, dance and onstage banter with the audience, Fela (a real-life historical figure from Nigeria) begins to share the extraordinary details of his life, from his travels across the globe to his development of the show’s signature fusion of jazz, funk and traditional African drum music known as Afrobeat. Fela, his band and his tribe of wives (the real man had, at one point, 27 spouses) also depict their politically oppressed Nigera, a country terrorized by its own government, and the crimes committed by their leaders against them. As stories from tragic to inspiring unfold, exhilarating song and dance drive one man’s legendary journey forward.