And Broadway came to Nigeria, in colors as unforgettable and familiar as our motherland.
On the 19th of September 2009, Aboriginal productions delivered it’s first child on the Muson Center,Lagos stage. The progeny was called Oluronbi (The Musical). With two different shows catering to an audience of over 700, a newborn was introduced to the world. The clear-cut story was humorous and the language well understood.
The show began on time, was completely sold out and had people standing in the wings. An arresting and melodious medley launched the first scene. Impervious to the sound problems that usually characterize most Nigerian shows, it pulled you in and told a tale that spoke volumes of history. The beautiful choreography was in sync and perfectly executed. Actors and dancers performed not only with their skills but also with their hearts and it showed in their glowing faces and wide smiles. They were at home on the stage. Original, elaborate and appropriate costumes were on display and the stage was transformed, the props and settings absolutely believable. If these were the same performers in the first show, fatigue was not a word that existed in their dictionary. They poured their souls into every note and motion. Exceptional lighting placed the characters in the precise halo that was necessary. Even the stage effects were artistically adorned. Setting and rearranging the stage was a performance in itself.
Cast and crew comprised notable talents such as Omawumi Megbele, Yinka Davies, Waje Iruobe, Timi Dakolo, Dolapo Ogunwale, Niki Laoye , Kehinde Ayeni, Ayo Faboro, Toba Gold, Seun Kentebe, Hafiz Oyetor, Rotimi Folarunsho, the Ivory Ambassadors Troupe, Victor Eze-Okwuchukwu, Ayotunde Aladese and the ever charming Iretiola Doyle to mention but a few.
Oluronbi is every woman. She is the barren insecure wife, the loving overbearing mother, the antagonistic mother-in-law and the unsure yet domineering queen. Utibe-Abasi Nkanga-Olomola beautifully portrayed all aspects of womanhood and made it a performance to behold. Catharsis swept through the audience at the end when Oluronbi was forced to relinquish the child she promised and the curtain call received a standing ovation.
Superb is the category that this revived foray into the musical falls into. The Arts have returned to our land and they have come to stay.