Formed in 1999, Poor-Box Productions has been a prolific exponent of experimental theatre in the Mumbai drama circuit. However, their work is not restricted to merely creating on-stage magic. Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal and Kaizaad Kotwal, the mother-and-son duo who established Poor-Box have also been vocal proponents of human rights. Synergised with this dichotomous personality of Poor-Box is their latest production, Love is in
Directed by Kaizaad Kotwal and Vishaal Asrani, Love is in the Air is a Broadway-style musical, featuring a lot of cabaret, some pleasant good-natured schmaltz and a lot of great music. And as a tip of the hat to the impending Pride, the performers will add a queer tweak to the play.
Asrani promises "a lot more drama and also a few drag numbers" in this edition of Love is in the Air. The play will also feature "women and men cross-dressing and having a lot of fun while they are at it." Asrani hopes "that audience members, irrespective of their sexual orientation come for the play and have a great time." With the incredible talent, which he and his partner Sarosh Nanavaty have at their disposal, it would not be surprising if they achieve just that.
Apart from the members of Poor-Box, Longinus Fernandes of Slumdog Millionaire fame will lend his expertise to the choreography in Love is in the Air. Asrani is a huge fan of the cabaret and finds the intimate setting of The Comedy Store to be perfect for such a production. He says "it increases the level of interactivity with audiences, and also provides a terrific vibe of energy to the performers. Considering that the play does stick to the traditional format of the cabaret with actors actually performing the songs, this is a huge positive."
The overriding leitmotif of the play is love in every sense of the word and Asrani maintains that in spite of the Pride Week theme, the play will not get preachy. However, he does hope that tolerance is something that his play communicates to all its viewers. Quoting from the finale song (Lady Gaga's 'Born this Way') Asrani hopes that the line 'You are beautiful in your own way, because God made no mistakes' resonates with the viewers long after they leave the play.
At: 6 pm, Jan 22, The Comedy Store, Palladium, 3rd floor, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel