Monday, October 4, 2010

'Fela' for free!

UPDATE: This concert has moved indoors to St. Ann's Warehouse at 38 Water St. due to the rain.

My Meredith Deliso

Broadway is coming to Brooklyn — but the price will make you think that the fabled theater strip is called the Great Right Way.

The cast and band from the acclaimed musical “Fela!” will set up shop at Brooklyn Bridge Park in a free concert tonight.

“I’ve probably seen it four or five times,” said St. Ann’s Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman, who brought the cast to her DUMBO venue this past spring for its gala and is sponsoring this freebie. “It was so fantastic that I thought it would be a great show to bring to Brooklyn Bridge Park.”

“Fela!” tells the story of Fela Kuti, the inventor of afrobeat, a funk-enthused, complex percussion-based style that he used as a political tool to promote civil rights in his native Nigeria. 

Feldman worked with the show’s producers to bring a pared-down version of the musical to the park, but none of the magic will be lost.

“It’s such an incredible life force, that’s what I love the most,” said Feldman. “Everyone’s on their feet in the show. There’s nothing passive about seeing it.” 

The performance is the last for the season at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, which has also hosted the Metropolitan Opera, film screenings and other cultural performances this summer.

“Most of the time the park is used for sunbathing, picnicking and frolicking, but it has that wonderful slope to enhance the view,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer. “As soon as we saw that slope, we knew the lawn would be a wonderful location for such events.”

And thanks to the infectious music of Fela, you won’t be missing seats at all.

“Fela!” concert at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 [Old Fulton Street at Furman Street in DUMBO, (718) 254-8779], Oct. 4 at 6:30 pm. Free. For info, visit


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