The Academy of Music
240 S. Broad St.
Celebrity culture in Philadelphia has a huge shadow cast over it by the one and only Fresh Prince: Will Smith. The West Philly native will exert his influence over Broad Street once again this week, when the Broadway play he and Jay-Z co-produced, “Fela!” premieres tonight, March 20, at the Academy of Music.
“Fela!,” which is in town for five days, tells the true story of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer of the second half of the 20th century. Kuti, a musician and political activist, derived inspiration from jazz, funk and traditional African rhythms to create the Afrobeat genre in the 1970s. He used his music as political commentary against oppression in Nigeria and throughout Africa, and he sought inspiration from the Black Panther Party after spending time in the U.S.
The musical tracks Kuti’s successes and failures against the Nigerian government, which eventually culminates in the release of the 1979 album, “Zombie,” which heavily criticizes the country’s military regime and subsequent raids and murders against Kuti.
Saturday, March 25
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
American Swedish Historical Museum
1900 Pattison Ave.
March is definitely a month for food. Aside from Pi Day, Chocolate Covered Raisin Day and Peanut Day there’s the international celebration of Waffle Day, a holiday that originated in Sweden.
Each year, the American Swedish Historical Museum hosts Waffle Day to commemorate the coming of spring and the Feast of Annunciation. Attendees can tour the museum for the history of Waffle Day and some Swedish waffles, complete with whipped cream and strawberry jam with a side of coffee.
If you can’t make it down, head to the recently opened Liacouras Walk location of Bonte Belgian Waffles for a tasty treat to go.
Wednesday, March 21
Theatre of Living Arts
334 South St.
More than a year after releasing its most recent album, “Velociraptor!” English rock band Kasabian is touring the U.S. until April, and will make a stop at the Theatre of Living Arts tomorrow night, March 21.
The four-piece group has experienced more success in the U.K. and throughout Europe than in the U.S., but is perhaps best known for its single, “Club Foot,” which has been featured on the soundtracks to various video games, as well as on several television shows and movies, including “CSI: Miami” and “The Guardian.” The glam-meets-electro rock group’s second album, “Empire,” topped UK charts and landed on Billboard 200 after its release in 2006.
Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster and Livenation – they will also be available at the door – and the concert begins at 7 p.m.
– Alexis Sachdev