Bill T Jones’ “Fela!,” the musical interpretation of the life of the Afrobeat king, is up for 11 Tony Awards–the most of any show this year–including Best Musical.  I haven’t seen any of the other shows up for contention, but I can attest to the brilliance of the show. From Jones’ direction, to the acting of the leads Sahr Ngauajah and Lilias White, the set, the music and the dancers, and the  Well done. (I won’t get drawn into debates again about the show’s premise or omissions, whether ridiculous charges of minstrelsy or revisionism about Fela’s backward sexual politics.)

Well done.

Watch the announcements on The Tony Awards website just to hear actor Jeff Daniels–announcing the nominees–mangling the show’s title: “Feel-laa.”

Further Reading

Music is the weapon

During Christmas 1980, Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba performed at a concert in Lesotho that deeply challenged and disturbed South Africa’s apartheid regime. The record of that concert is being reissued.

Carceral colonialism

On the United Kingdom’s attempts to finance the construction of large-scale prison facilities in former colonies, to where it wants to deport undocumented migrants.

Fanon’s mission

The works of Frantz Fanon can be read as architectural renderings of rights, futures, and generations toward a “very different Afro-futurism.”

History time

The historical novel is in vogue across the continent, challenging how we conceive of the nation, and how we write its histories.