FELA! on Broadway: A Review

The old Reese's peanut butter cup jingle is the perfect description for the Bill T. Jones - Fela extravaganza on Broadway: "Two great tastes that taste great together" FELA! is absolutely delicious -- amazing choreography by Jones combined with spectacular direction overall. And Antibalas honors Fela's music with their own deep grooving sounds -- electrifying. Both the actors playing Fela and his Mother deserve Tony Awards -- stunning performances. Mindblowing.

The only negative in this play is the attempt to add contemporary corporate bashing to Fela's narrative and to add contemporary examples of police related violence (Sean Bell) to the story. I understand the emotional connection, for sure -- but it comes across as a moral equation or a grab-bag of anti-establishment politics.

Still -- amazing work with great power.

For those of you not familiar with Fela, here is some video footage of the late great Nigerian musician


Shlomo Sand: A Response

Khazaria Flashback

That morning
We first woke up as Jews.
Drank Turkish coffee.
Started complaining.

The King, Jewish?
This will not turn out well.

Like schoolchildren they spoke to us.
Little boxes.

the joy of learning a new language
a room in the brain we didn’t know was there.

fires engulfed our old gods.
sacrificial flames for the big new one.
but we winked across the aisle
backup plan under the floorboards.

We have been chosen
The grey beards tell us
And our homeland lies in ruins
And our temple desecrated
But we have been chosen.

We learn to sing a new song
The chicken is saltier now
But we all love the Sabbath
Huge improvement.

So now we are all Jews.
Feels weird.
Feels right.
Maybe we were Jews the whole time?

- Daniel S. Brenner