Posts Tagged ‘theater’

Excerpts from the New York Times article on , “His Next Stop: Driving Out Apartheid’s Ghost,” by Celia Duggard

The Fugard [new theater named in honor of the esteemed, white, South African playwright, Athol Fugard] is among many privately organized efforts — in culture, education and social services — that aim to help South Africa overcome the damage wrought by its colonial and apartheid-era past. The theater’s creators hope the transfiguring power of art will help change this breathtakingly beautiful, but still highly segregated, city by the sea.

“I assure you that every audience in this house will be sitting in the lap of a ghost,” Mr. Fugard, his eyes brimming with tears, told the audience, referring to the 60,000 residents of District Six who were driven from their homes during the apartheid years.

Mr. Fugard said in an interview that the new democratic South Africa — struggling with poverty and corruption, among other challenges — needs the arts of stagecraft “as urgently as the old South Africa needed those first few daring, sometimes suicidal acts of defiance in the theater.”

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Fela on BroadwayI’ve been hearing nothing but rave reviews about this show since last year when it was in its pre-Broadway run. I finally got to see it last night on Broadway. (Bonus: we had discount tickets for being fans of the show on facebook.)

I knew it had to be fabulous. (With Fela’s music, it’d be really hard to screw it up.)

Fela Ransome Kuti, was a Nigerian musician and composer, who holds the accolades of being the father of Afrobeat music. His music is infectious (try sitting still), distinct, and political.

The only two things I wish: that it were longer, and that it was in a venue where we (the audience) could have gotten up to dance!

What I love about Fela on Broadway is that it illustrates the points that I try to make about the value of the arts:

Fela on BroadwayIt is one of the best lenses to view history. Music, fashion and visual art featured in the show took the audience right back to era in which Fela lived. And both he and his music are examples of how the arts serve as a means of nation building, as they were and are sources of both individual and societal Yoruba and Nigerian pride and self worth.

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