I recently learned that late last year, FELA! was on Broadway. It is a shame that I did not learn about the show while it was still on Broadway. That would have been a musical I would have loved to see. Hopefully the show’s producers will decide to take the musical on tour, broadcast the musical on TV and or sell it on DVD. Nevertheless, I still think that there is a lot to be learned from the actors that participated in this innovative project by watching the videos that are posted on the show’s site.
FELA! is a “lyrical” depiction of Fela Kuti. The Broadway musical, directed by Bill T. Jones, tries to highlight Fela’s “struggle for authenticity” and seeks, among other things, to answer the question, “What is an Original African Man?” Mr. Jones goes on to define his version of an Original African Man (watch the attached video to see what his answer to this question is). Despite his answer, Mr. Jones seems to think that the question should be posed to anthropologists, but considering I like getting my answers straight from the source, I will do better, by posing the question to my fellow MinneAfricans.
So, dear MinneAfricans, “What is an Original African Man?” Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Jones’ definition?