I’ve never been a fan of Broadway. In fact, the thought of sitting through a musical is way down on the bottom of my list of possible cultural excursions. But hey, that’s just me. So perhaps that’s why I’ve been so pleasantly surprised to see the success of Fela!, which opened last November on the Great White Way. On the surface a musical about the life and times of the the iconic founder of afrobeat (who was also a genius multi-instrumentalist, human rights activist and outspoken political maverick) sounds a bit daft, but factor in a good story, kick-ass backing band in the form of Antibalas and star power from presenters Jay-Z and Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith, and it’s no surprise that the play is a runaway hit.
For those looking to experience more of the play, Fela! – Original Broadway Cast Recording will be released via Knitting Factory Records on June 8th. The album will be available for pre-release order on April 20th via the play’s website.
Fela! – Original Broadway Cast Recording features the incomparable Sahr Ngaujah as Fela singing with members of the irrepressibly funky Antibalas. A version featuring Kevin Mambo will be available for download and for sale at the theater. All 16 of the Fela compositions that are peformed on stage each night, leaving sold-out audiences astonished and breathless at the end of every show, are on the record as are several songs peformed by Funmalayo (Fela’s mother) as played by the Tony-award winning Lilias White, and Sandra Izadore (Fela’s American girlfriend) as played by Saycon Sengbloh. The record was produced by the Grammy-nominated Robert Sher.
“We worked incredibly hard, and have had amazing and talented people on board to create what we think is one of the hottest, sexiest, entertaining and unique Broadway experiences today,” says the show’s producer Stephen Hendel. “We’re working equally hard to make sure that’s captured in the cast record.”
Tracklisting for Fela! – Original Broadway Cast Recording:
“Yellow Fever/Ikoyi Blindness”
“Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsese”
“Water Get No Enemy/Egbe Mi O”
“Sorrow Tears and Blood”
“Dance of the Orisas/Shakara”
“Coffin Head of State”
Source: LimeWire Music Blog