Fela! at the Tonys

June 14, 2010

So Bill Jones won a Tony for best Choreography. Fela! was nominated for 11 awards in total (tied with Cage Aux Folles) for most

  • Best Musical
  • Best Book: Jim Lewis & Bill T. Jones
  • Best Performance: Sahr Ngaujah
  • Best Performance: Lillias White
  • Best Direction: Bill T. Jones
  • Best Choreography: Bill T. Jones
  • Best Orchestrations: Aaron Johnson
  • Best Scenic Design: Marina Draghici
  • Best Costume Design: Marina Draghici
  • Best Lighting Design: Robert Wierzel
  • Best Sound Design: Robert Kaplowitz

and it won three, best costume design of a musical, best sound design of a musical and Best Choreography. ‘Cage’ also won three.


Fela’s Queens

May 18, 2010

Links to videos here of Fela Queens and of Sandra Izsadore a key collaborator in Fela’ transition to Afrobeat. The first video you may have seen before and will no doubt see again if searching for video of the Queens’ this is because of so little accessible footage of the women. No doubt news archives have tour footage, arrivals, rehearsals etc but I don’t know of any source that one can quickly, easily and cheaply access.

Video of Fela Queens

March 27, 2010

Link here to two minutes of video of Fela’s Queens preparing, on stage and on the streets of Lagos. It’s a clip from the Music is the weapon doco made in 1982.

It looks like this is something to do with the Broadway musical as the fela! logo tops and tails the video.

There are lots of Fela videos on the web.

the wives (many) of Fela Anikulapo Kuti

November 18, 2008

Just come back from my meeting with the commissioners of the wives of Fela Kuti project, the Theatre Writing Partnership. We discussed our ideal ‘How we would like project to progress’ schedule, which is basically workshop, new draft, then reading/extract production, new draft then production in 2010. Depends on getting partners onboard and money but strategy for both things were outlined briefly. First stage is to get the draft completed in August out to some select potential partners.

Found out at the meeting that the Fela Kuti musical that played off-broadway is coming to London Stratford East in Spring so i’ll see it for research purposes hopefully. The site looks good so would really not want to miss this show.

Fela Radio 2 Biog thoughts

November 5, 2008

Listened to Fela Kuti biog on Radio 2 last night. It was as I expected, a fairly standard biography. Think it did a good job in giving you some sense of Fela’s impact. I didn’t learn anything new with the exception of the news about the Broadway musical about his life. The show was directed by Bill T Jones and finished on 5th October 2008. Pissed off I missed it as this was perhaps a real opportunity to see other’s approach. if the project momentum hadn’t stalled then perhaps this and Felabration and/or AfricaExpress could have been attended. The musical’s website is a good resource so at least there’s something. Check it out via the link above.

As I said before this documentary just re-affirmed my feelings that now is the time to get something into production, and that my angle, to make a story about the Queens is the correct way to go.

check out this page for fela related radio stuff.

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