Monthly Archives: March 2017

From Raga to Rock – Part 2


Making Sense of the SENSEX – update for week ended 3 March 2017

The queue was long. It got longer ahead of us as parents suddenly identified their friends ahead and quietly moved in to make small talk, and then blended into the queue. There must have been 70 people ahead of us – or so. How smart, I thought – yet how inconsiderate of the fellow families standing behind. But no-one complained and as the door opened to the auditorium, the parents filed in – and then the city’s culture seeped in – with little chopes (reservation of seats using any item, even tissue packets). and we were stranded on the aisles with most of the prime seats taken. So I just moved to the front rows and saw empty seats right in front  of the stage and the three of us sat down. The stage curtain was up and the performers were standing under and behind the sets. The musicians were also there under the scaffolding of the sets. Visible to us, and yet hidden given their black costume on a darkened stage.  And then the performance started. As the light focused on the second level of the set – the strumming guitar, the beat of the drums and lilting flute heralded the anti-hero singer – as he grimaced and gave us a peek into the show and what to expect. His voice was bold, with a lot of feeling, and the anguish the character had, was felt by the audience as they listened and watched in rapt silence.  And as the story unfolded, the other cast members melded in so breezily. So one heavy rock number was juxtaposed with a lighter one for the hero. The hero’s  followers walked in with the candles in hand – and there she was was – singing and dancing with glory. I had never seen her so carefree and enjoying every moment. She emoted when the sequence turned grim, and rejoiced when she was singing and dancing and looked askance when the group was in a quandary about “what next”? All of this in a black and grey ensemble. Sitting on the first row, I was closest to the stage  and was immersed into the play. At one moment, I was inside the mansion of the General and in another, I was in the palace of the King and in a third, I witnessed the arrest of the hero in the Garden, as the anti hero, gave him a peck on the cheek – leading the Roman soldiers to identify the prisoner. And then she trooped in again, but with a colourful costume, almost blingy as she and co stars  danced like the showgirls of the thirties, full of mirth and playfulness. And this was the part where I was amazed at the skill with which she switched her character to play a lively, smiling and carefree girl. What next – I wondered.

The D Boyz had to wait long to get into their office last week. The queue got longer and this delay saw some of them unable to tend to their favourite SENSEX – which slipped 70 points from 28812 to 28742. And when the music started, it lifted their spirits to help the SENSEX gain to almost reach a crescendo of 29000, but then as darkness loomed and no-one knew what to expect of the drama unfolding on the world stage, they retreated to 28832. All in a week’s play on the Stage called  D Street.

And then the sadness was palpable, as the hero was tortured. The anti hero was remorseful and sang his swan song before taking his final step before the hero was done with by the men in black robes. The audience shed tears as the sad melancholic voice of the heroine, silenced, as she sat, head bowed, tears streaming down her cheek as the limelight shone on her in the foreground and the Hero in the background who looked relieved and then smiled his beatific smile before passing on. The audience was applauding the finale  with a  standing ovation. The stars of the evening on stage deserved it. The singers, the actors, the dancers, the musicians, the backstage crew, everyone. Finally the actors, actresses walked in for their traditional bow. I was so proud to see my little girl who was not so little now, bowing down for her thank you…… she looked so happy and I was happier. 17 years old and in a Broadway Rock Musical – where she danced and sang like a pro. A star was reborn!

We waited at the entrance to the green room as did many other parents, friends and teachers, and cheered as the stars emerged shorn of their grey costumes and much of their Gothic make-up. They smiled back and were hugged by their “fans”. I wish I knew how to whistle, was all  I could think of, and so I did the next best – cat call!!

Have you seen a Broadway musical – presented like perfect professionals but performed by rank newcomers? Let me know about your experience.

Have a great week .. cheers

 

 

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