I thought I was the only one bothered with how stage plays and theatre productions are underrated in Nigeria. Apparently, there is one other person who is (and I presume many more after reading this article) not impressed on the level of talent showcase in this country.
Literary bloggers don’t explain, we observe and ask questions that are obviously needed to be asked.
This is a guest post by the amazing blogger and content creator @Mystique_dammy of Life of Dammy.
LET’S TALK BROADWAY – AJIBIKE ‘DAMMY.
“Romeo, Romeo, where forth are thou Romeo?”
Ever seen a stage play and felt wowed? Well one major feature of stage performance is Broadway with origin from the Greek era in the 5th century. Broadway has been in existence since the 1700s and became prominent in America. Along with London’s West End theatres, Broadway theatres are widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Majority of Broadway shows are musicals and helped make New York City the cultural capital of the nation.
Broadway was started initially to reproduce Shakespeare plays and ballad operas.
I find it quite disheartening the difference between the attention being paid to motion pictures and stage plays. Yes Nollywood is doing great making movies that have won outstanding awards but then what about original stage plays? It has become a life long dream of youths with talent these days to want to be on Broadway.
Being a student of a university with diverse departments, I have seen quite a number of plays being acted out by students. And I have to say I’m impressed. But these can only happen once in a while as they have other engagements. So I wonder why can’t we have Broadway in Nigeria? Or one in Ibadan? After all America has three major ones. Let’s not compare America and Nigeria you say? Why not? Isn’t talent everywhere? Let us get talented people to audition for roles and a Broadway crew including scriptwriters, stage hands and all. Broadway plays involve more than acting. It’s coming together of a crew to deliver an amazing performance.
I heard of the stage play Waka The Musical that took place in Lagos and London acted by Nigerians and I was so sad I couldn’t attend. There have been a couple in Lagos too and the clips I saw from the event impressed me. So how about we set up a theatre for Broadway? Or two? Dedicated just for plays and musicals. Did you know some Broadway shows went on for over 300 times? That’s money my people! Sweet money! Nigeria could tap into that and it would be a great source of revenue. America has made billions from shows running between just 2014-2015. There was a show named Fela! which was produced by The Bobby Taylor company and featured most of fela’s most captivation songs. We had Saro The Musical in Lagos which had 100 man cast and delivered 11 performances in 6 days and took place at The Muson Center. The cheapest ticket went for N5000! Maala was also staged by The National Troupe of Nigeria on October 12 which shows there is hope for Broadway.
Do people have little interest in Broadway? Of course not. Entertainment is a part of normal human lives. In a situation where something is not available, an alternative is found. We need to stimulate theatre going people. Play lovers and musical enthusiasts will be able to find entertainment in Broadways. It should not be every time comedy shows or live in concert. I particularly like Glee, a musical inspired series because it brings back memories of good good music. Annie which was a musical was made into a movie recently and awards were scored through it. There are so many famous people from Broadway that are even more famous that movie actors and actresses. So many concerts and other shows going on which are sometimes sold out, Broadway will be a hit too.
It is therefore important to focus on Broadway as a major way of projecting lifestyle and hence making money. Also, it would be a great way to create job opportunities in the nation. Think about it.
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