News

Lupita Nyong'o Heads To Broadway In 'Eclipsed'

Danai Gurira's Liberian Civil War drama 'Eclipsed,' starring Lupita Nyong'o, is headed to Broadway.


Pascale Armand, Saycon Sengbloh, and Lupita Nyong’o in the Public Theater production of "Eclipsed." Photo credit: Joan Marcus. 

The breakout play Eclipsed, penned by The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira and starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, will make its Broadway debut next February, according to The New York Times.

Having been extended twice due to ticket demand, the critically-acclaimed, sold-out production will continue playing at the Public Theater in New York City up until November 26. N'yongo, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengblohthe members of the all-women castare expected to reprise their roles.

Directed by Obie Award-winning South African director Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed is set in 2003 during the end of the Liberian civil war and tells the moving story of a group of women who are detained and raped by a rebel officer.

“Broadway will be better for having Eclipsed on it, and I hope it will break a barrier that will stay broken, if it proves that shows like this can make it on Broadway,” Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater, told the Times. “It’s an incredibly emotional play, and by the end very deeply touching and harrowing, and yet Danai has written it so beautifully it ultimately feels life-affirming, about how women in horrible circumstances are able to find their own agency.”

The Broadway production of Eclipsed will begin previews on February 23 and have an official premiere on March 6 at the Golden Theater. For updates, keep up with Eclipsed Broadway's official website.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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