Stage set for Broadway in Mumbai

Published: Sep 05, 2019, 08:14 IST | Shunashir Sen

An interactive event this weekend will see the audience join in as musicians recreate some of the best Broadway songs

Karla Singh with Shahriyar Athai
Karla Singh with Shahriyar Athai

If watching a piece of improvised theatre is like having a bite from an item in a fast-food stall, the experience of watching a Broadway musical is like eating a full-course meal that’s been slow-cooked for hours. The cast and crew spend months ironing out every chink in their armour. The technical team spends a packet on ensuring that it’s a larger-than-life production. The director oversees the entire process like a school teacher dedicating a semester to his students so that they pass their exams with flying colours. And the end result is that the audience goes back home with memories that remain etched in their mind for years to come.

BroadwayKira Narayanan

Some of these memories, of course, have to do with the quality of music on offer. The arrangements are such that the compositions keep ringing in the ears of people long after they have left the hall. Be it Evita, The Lion King or My Fair Lady, the songs in most musicals have endured the test of time. And proof of that lies in the fact that some of these tracks will now be recreated for Mumbaikars at an event this weekend, called Best of Broadway and Beyond.

Raell Padamsee’s Ace Productions is helming the show, which Karla Singh is directing. Asked about the genesis of the act, the latter says, “Well, we had a production meeting where Raell told us that we haven’t done something like this in several years, so let’s see if we can put it together again. We then ideated about what sort of songs we wanted, and who could best fit into Cinderella’s shoes [so to speak].”

The process eventually led to Singh choosing veteran thespians and singers Sharon Prabhakar and Shahriyar Athai, and talented youngsters like Kira Narayanan to bring songs from hit musicals across the ages to life. But they aren’t the only ones who will be performing on the day. Singh reveals that audience members, too, will be invited for a song and a dance on stage. She says, “We will figure out how to pick the people, but some of them will be voluntary while we’ll have to tell the others, ‘Come on now, you can do this.’ We’ll have to go with the flow because each audience member is different. We don’t want to force anyone. Everybody has to feel comfortable and have a good time.”

On September 8, 7.30 pm
At Tata Theatre, NCPA.
Log on to
Cost Rs 500 onwards

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