By Walter Rutledge
This weekend has an abundance of theatre. We have a Tony Award winning musical returning to broadway, two musicals off Lenox Avenue, and drama in a former Harlem firehouse. Here are a few of the many events happening around the city and in our community.
The Tony Award winning musical Fela! currently on a multi-city world tour, returns to Broadway for a limited run of 32 performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street) from July 9 to August 4. Exploring the extravagant world of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, this provocative hybrid of dance, theatre, music, biography and a party like no-other is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. The world renowned Antibalas and other members of the NYC Afrobeat community, under the direction of Aaron Johnson, again perform Kuti’s rousing music live onstage.
Fela! is the recipient of three 2010 Tony Awards for Best Choreography, Best Costumes, and Best Sound Design. The performance schedule is as follows: Monday, Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday at 2pm and 7:30pm; Thursday at 7pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm. Tickets are $47 to $132. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.Telecharge.com, by phone (212) 239-6200 or in-person at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre Box Office.
Celebrating Our Sons Through Words and Images is an exhibition of ten artists; Shaun Arts, Terry Beverly, Jimbe Carroll, Pavan Carter, Lisa DuBois, Chris Evans, Antoine Minter, Ocean Morisset, Rod Patrick Risbrook, and Samuel Walker with text by Kahlil Koromantee. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday July 21 through August 18 at the 2nd floor Art Gallery in the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building located at 163 West 125 Street. There will be an opening art reception on Saturday, July 21, from 5pm to 8pm. The admission is free, but you must have valid ID to enter the building. To view the art exhibition after the July 21 opening call (212) 749-5298 to schedule an appointment.
This weekend is the last opportunity to see Accept “Except” LGBT NY, the new Equity showcase production directed and co-produced by Tony Award winner George Faison. The extended run concludes Sunday July 21. This new adaptation of Accept “Except” LGBT NY stars Ceez Liive and Tryee Young as two gay twenty year olds running from the violent mobs, a male from the plantation era (18th Century) and a female from the penitentiary era (21st Century). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Faison Firehouse Theater Box Office. For showtimes and reservations call 212 665 7698. For credit card purchases call Smarttix at 212 868 4444 or online at SMARTTIX.COM.
The Mama Foundation presents a double dose of soul with not one but two musicals this weekend; the longest running off Broadway musical Mama, I Want to Sing and the new uptown production Sing Harlem Sing. The performances are at the Dempsey Theater (127 West 127 Street between Lenox and Seventh Avenue). Both performances are on Saturday July 21. Sing Harlem Sing is at 1pm and Mama, I Want to Sing is at 4:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the box office open located at 149 West 126 from 11am to 7pm,or by calling 212-280-1045 and at www.smarttix.com. Group rates are available.
As always thank you for letting me share my world with you.
In Photo: 1) Sahr Ngaujah and Fela! cast 2) Fela! Logo 3) Subject unknown 4) Accept “Except” LGBT logo 5) Sandra Huff
Photo Credit: 1) Richard Termine 2) Courtesy of Fela! 3) Rod Patrick Risbrook 4) Courtesy of APAC 5) Carol Rosegg