Vibrant 'Fela!' opens three-night stand at Palace Theatre

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Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams might get top-billing in Fela!, the Broadway musical that arrived in town last night at the Palace Theatre for a three-night stand. But Adesola Osakalumi, who plays Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, deserves all the accolades. Osakalumi, who played Fela when the play was on Broadway, commands attention from the moment he arrives on stage. Williams isn't as dynamic as his love interest, Sandra. Osakalumi never breaks character, even as he interacts with the audience and laughs and jokes with hecklers throughout the course of the play. Though it ultimately works better as a musical performance/concert than a document of the African singer’s life, Fela is so well-choreographed and performed, its shortcoming as a biography are a minor point of contention.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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