Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 82 August 3

Visit to the Whitney; Fela!

By Al
My leg was better today.  Still, I didn't want to push it too much so I spent most of the day watching the Olympics.  That evening, Sally and I went to see "Fela".   This is a musical about Fela Kuti.  He was a Nigerian musician in the 1970's and 80's.  He was always criticizing and fighting with the military dictatorship in Nigeria.  They kept putting him in jail several times.  Soldiers raided his nightclub and recording studio in 1977.  They killed his mother, and raped his female singers and beat him viciously.  Rather than being stopped, he delivered his mother's coffin to the government headquarters and wrote several songs about the raid and government.  These songs became very popular songs of protest. 

I have been a fan of Fela for over ten years.  His son, Femi Kuti, is now a very popular musician.  Sally, Amy and I were able to see him perform at the Minnesota Zoo last summer.  He has his father's talent. 

This play was very well done.  Fela's music is very intense with fast rhythms, horns and electric guitars and back up singers.  So, the musical started out intense and stayed intense.  The actor who plays Fela did an excellent job.  I really liked his portrayal. 

By Sally
We walked over to the Whitney Museum to see an exhibit of work by Yayoi Kusama.  It must have been "the place to be" because the line went out the door and around the corner. We were lucky to be able to use our Walker membership to skip the line.

She is an interesting artist.  Came to New York from Japan as a young woman, stayed here for ten years, and then returned to Japan.  Her early paintings are bright colors, kind of "pop art" .  She then did a whole series of sculptures where she made fabric egg-shaped stuffed objects.  She used these to cover a couch, fill shoes, cover a dress, and a lot of other things, and then painted them silver.  I puzzled over this for awhile. My speculation is that she was thinking about our material excess.

A gallery of Edward Hopper paintings was much more fun.
The Whitney doesn't allow pictures, and there were no postcards to purchase- so little to show from the museum.

Windows on the outside of the Whitney Museum.

Poster for the exhibit.  It looks like she is covered in snakes.  She uses a lot of polka dots in her paintings.

In poster for Fela!  His music is wonderful, but the play was constantly at a high level of sound and energy.  I like more variety- some quiet times, a buildup to a climax, which this play lacked.The actor was better-looking and a better singer based on my viewing of Fela performing on  you tube.

Here is our subway stop - where I spend at least a few minutes every day awaiting a train.  Most stops
 have wonderful mosaic signs identifying the stop. And, yes, there is subway tile on the walls. (When we tiled our bathroom, our choice was "subway tile," so it is fun to see its first use).

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