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Posts tagged ‘Fela’

24
Jun

Ticket giveaway: ‘Fela!’ and ‘The 39 Steps’


Here at Stage Rush, we love discounts. But what’s the only thing better than scoring Broadway tickets for a steal? Getting them for free! I am pleased to announce Stage Rush’s first ever ticket giveaway! Up for grabs are a pair of tickets to the Tony-winning shows Fela! and The 39 Steps. Here are the easy steps you need to take to have your chance to win these babies:

  1. Write on Stage Rush’s Facebook wall. (“Like” us, if you haven’t already done so)
  2. Include which show you are playing for (if both, note your first choice).

One winner will be chosen at random for each show. The winner will win a pair of tickets to either Fela! or The 39 Steps—the pair won’t be split up among participants. You must be able to be contacted via private message on Facebook. The giveaway will end on Thursday, July 1. I will notify the winners via Facebook private message.

All participants must be able to see either show between the dates of July 4 and July 29. The tickets are not valid for resale and must be picked up at the show’s box office on the day of the performance.

So what are you waiting for, Rushers? Get over to the Stage Rush Facebook wall—it couldn’t be easier!

14
Jun

Tony Awards: press room interviews

As you might know from last night’s live blog, Stage Rush was reporting from the press room of the 2010 Tony Awards. After they gave their acceptance speeches, most of the night’s lucky winners made the long journey from Radio City Music Hall across the rainy plaza of Rockefeller Center to the LA Sports Club, where the press room was stationed. (We missed you, Scarlett Johansson and Catherine Zeta-Jones!) Among the Tony winners were Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Katie Finneran, Levi Kreis, and the Memphis creative team. Here are the highlights from those interviews.

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7
May

Stage Rush TV: Episode 12

Talking points:
  • Tony nominations announced: predictability and disappointment
  • Collected Stories: another well-developed Donald Margulies relationship
  • Stuffed and Unstrung: foul-mouthed, hysterical puppets without a script
  • Enron’s producers act hastily and close the show
  • Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? What are your reactions to the Tony nominations? Do you think the Best Score category should have been eliminated this year? Do you think Memphis is a worthy opponent for Fela? Do you think the producers of Enron are acting too fast by closing the show? Leave your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments!
5
Dec

Fuerza Bruta

Going to the theater should always be an “experience.” That’s pretty much the whole point. Bells and whistles aren’t needed to create that experience though. An amazing night of theater could involve two great actors, a riveting script, and no set at all—a bare bones production. That said, some people (admittedly myself) are too quick to write off big-budget or flashy productions. This thought was going through my mind as I attended the visual orgasm that is Fuerza Bruta at the Daryl Roth Theater last night.

The show is flashy. Flashy, glittery, loud, wet, upside down, and in your face (or down your throat, as I experienced with the confetti). Fuerza Bruta (meaning “brute force” in Spanish) is an optical spectacular in the vein of Cirque du Soleil that doesn’t really have a story (unless your imagination is on overdrive, which it should be) and surrounds the audience, forcing them to interact. If the thought of audience participation makes you clench, you have no choice at Fuerza Bruta. Yes, a few audience members do have advanced participation, in that they hop on platforms and groove with the actors, subsequently being smashed over the head with confetti-filled pizza boxes—not everyone has to do that. But in terms of audience participation, every theatergoer must participate in that the group has to be constantly moving, as the “stage” (there really isn’t one) keeps changing shape and direction. Massive (and I mean massive) treadmills, platforms, aluminum foils sheets, and ladders are wheeled out into the performance space. If you choose not to “participate,” then you might find yourself road kill.

Keeping that in mind, it struck me how inappropriate this show could be for someone elderly or disabled. You have to be able to move around easily and not be inhibited by tight spaces. There are. no. seats. at this show—you stand for a full 70 minutes. Furthermore, it could also be inappropriate for someone dressed nicely! I, for one, usually dress for the theater. Unless you have deep, prior knowledge of this show, the only warning you get about the water that’s flung is when you arrive and collect your tickets, as there’s a slip of paper handed to you. (I suppose you’d receive the notice if you had your tickets mailed to you in advance, but I received my tickets at the performance and… here at this blog, we don’t do tickets in advance.) No, Fuerza Bruta is not Splash Mountain, but it’s not exactly the place for a silk tie, either. (Coat check services are available, but for $2, which I think is ridiculous. Besides, you’ll need the protection!)

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3
Dec

“Fela!”‘s Missed, Genius Rush Opportunity

Fela! is a wildly unique and outside-the-box-thinking Broadway production. I thought so and so does just about every major theater critic. And with 86 percent of its tickets sold last week, it’s a fair hit. But I just read a fantastic gem of an idea New York Magazine delivered in it’s final paragraph of their review for Fela! that would have been a ridiculously exciting and original rush concept. Here’s the block quote from reviewer Dan Kois:

Given the concert conceit of Fela!, and the audience participation that its stars encourage, I wish they’d just ripped the first ten rows out of the orchestra and sold those spots for ten bucks to music lovers. It probably would’ve violated a fire code or some union contract, but it also might’ve helped the energy in the crowd match the exceptional energy onstage.

First of all, the $10-general-admission-pit rush idea is brilliant. It made me excited just to read and consider the notion. I can just imagine how much fervor that would draw out of fans, or rather how much more enthused it would make theater goers about the show. People would feel rabid about this show, like they feel about the Hair revival, spurred on by the nightly invitation for the audience to come dance on stage. A $10 price would be perfect to not only match up with the fact that there would be no seat, but also to reflect the atmosphere and realism of the story’s setting. It certainly didn’t cost $85 to get into Fela’s Shrine nightclub.

Kois’s idea of ripping out rows of seats is definitely radical, and I am kind of on board (although I don’t want to damage the beautiful Eugene O’Neill Theatre). That, however, would be a massive undertaking and an extra cost to Fela!‘s backers to restore whenever its run ends. But who are we kidding? Jay-Z and Will Smith have the money—let’s make this happen! (Not to mention we’d also have the newest chamption for Cheapest Rush Ever! …Fine, there was also this one.)

Photo: Monique Carboni

24
Nov

Fela!

How do you solve a problem like Fela!? If you’re crafting a musical based on the radical Nigerian musician who created the genre “Afrobeat” and used it to criticize his government, you must formulate a production that is just as outside-the-box as the man was. Director Bill T. Jones presents a Broadway-quality experience that feels unlike anything “Broadway.”

Jones paints the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in Fela’s colors. The show felt like it had already begun when I walked into the director/choreographer’s old Spring Awakening home. The band is already playing, and as I step into the building, I see that covering the walls are murals of African art, enlargements of Fela’s headline-making antics, and strands of lights stretching all the way from the back mezzanine to the boxes. The theater is unrecognizable and I felt like I wanted to get a table and eat a good meal there. For this show, arriving to the theater early allows you time to soak up the mood of Fela’s world and by the time the show begins (forgoing the parental “Unwrap your candy, turn off your cell phones” warning), your interest will be piqued.

I knew nothing about Fela Anikulapo-Kuti prior to this show, and I’m venturing to say few others did too. But being this is a bio-musical, the narrative is supposed to take care of that for you. By curtain call, I did have an understanding of Fela’s life, but I can’t say I’d pass a test on the details. I then thought theatergoers would benefit from a little trip to Wikipedia before taking their seats, but then certain plot points would be less of a surprise, such as Fela’s mother’s death (don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler. It’s made clear in the Playbill that she is dead, but the circumstances surrounding it are the real shocker).
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