Saturday, November 1, 2008

‘Obama the Musical’ on stage

By ANTHONY NJAGI

With 48 hours left to the end of the world’s most gripping election, which many around the world are hoping will usher in America’s first black President, 48 young and creative Kenyans are making their contribution to the US election.

Tone Theatre Productions stages the Kenyan musical, Obama the Musical, at the Kenya National Theatre on Sunday.

‘‘I want to use the show not only to tell Obama’s story but also to unite Kenyans,’’ says George Orido, the playwright and director of the musical.

Starring Eric Makori as Mr Obama, the musical tells the story of a Kenyan-American who is on the verge of becoming the first black President of the most powerful nation in the world.

Using a blend of dance, narration and music, Obama the Musical heavily borrows from world cultures, including traditional and contemporary African styles, salsa and country music, and merges them to tell the colourful story of Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and an American mother from Kansas.

Obama the Musical traces Mr Obama’s life, highlighting both the good and low points and his message of change.

It features Ann Menene, a student at East African Media Studies, Lynette Mekeli, a student at Kenya College of Accountancy, Rachel Chege and Paul Kamau, among others.

The musical has also benefited from the input of Kent Libiso of Wasanii.

The musical runs from Sunday to Wednesday.

The musical has attracted international media attention, including Al Jazeera, ABC, VoA, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Die Welt, Los Angeles Times and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

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