A new theatrical production has set fire to the traditionally-ladened Ahmanson Theatre stage. FELA! is a tale of the legendary Nigerian Fela Kuti, a musical dynamo and powerhouse politician, who used his supercharged Afrobeat sounds and charismatic spirit to ignite and inspire a generation to challenge a government of oppression.
The show forces its audience to abandon preconceived notions of order, yet seduces them through a high energy dance show, choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones, immersed and drenched in heart and emotion—“First, you’ll feel it in your feet. Then you’ll feel it in your soul. That’s the undeniable power of FELA!,” raves the NY Times. It is a tale of courage, passion, and love that is brought to life on stage through dance.
There’s a bit of magic that lingers in the air when a politically charged tale engulfs the classic essence of the Ahmanson Theatre. FELA! ‘s presenters, mainstream pop culture icons Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith, push the boundaries of how theatre is defined in the post-millenium age, as well as open the doors to the world of stage to new eyes and new ears–a younger generation.
In all artforms, whether it be portrayed and showcased through stage, music, film, canvas, or design, there’s an interesting thread that lays between the modern and contemporary and the classic. By transcending from the typical boundaries that alienate and categorize all that is art, one can appreciate the subtle balance between the two dichotomies, whether that’s signified by experiencing FELA! at the Ahmanson Theatre or marveling at the lush collections of modern meets classic at the Thomas Lavin Showroom, with refreshed, newly opened eyes.