back on my trip to the UK this summer, I can say without a doubt that seeing
Bombay Dreams in the West End was my most memorable experience . I was
skeptical about the play worrying that it would be too much like a formula
driven Bollywood film but I was pleasantly surprised. Meera Syal who wrote
the script used stereotypical Bollywood style but she used it in order to
mock Bollywood and it worked very well with the musical.
Lloyd-Webber , prior to producing this musical had taken a keen interest in
music from Bollywood and had taken special interest in Bollywood's most
renowned composer A.R Rahman. The combination of these two greats in the
production of Bombay Dreams resulted in the colours and flavours of the East
mingled with the immaculate production
values of the West . Songs such as Shakalaka Baby with its impressive
set piece complete with dancing fountains and Chaya Chaya were some of the
most memorable moments in the musical .
story is about the slum dweller Akaash who has big dreams of becoming a star
and Priya, the beautiful, principled daughter of major movie director Madan
. Akaash gets a break in the film industry when by chance he performs at a
Miss World competition hosted by his idol , major film star Rani. Madan
spots his talent and offers him a chance to act . During the Miss World
competition he bumps into Madan's daughter Priya and falls in love with her
. The only problem is Akaash forgets the people of the slums that loved and
supported his dreams, whose homes are now going to be destroyed by
Bulldozers, and Priya is already engaged to someone. Definetely the cheesy
melodrama of Bollywood but the play wouldn't feel right any other way
sets in Bombay Dreams were excellent . The design was immaculate and one
felt immersed completely in the musical. The various scenes and dancing
sequences(courtesy Farah Khan) were also choreographed well and generally
the delivery of the musical felt right . It never left you feeling out of
I saw the play only this summer I was treated to the new cast of Bombay
Dreams . Stephen-Rahman Hughes plays hero Akaash and Zehra Naqvi plays the
heroine Priya. The acting was good and left me completely absorbed in the
only complaint with Bombay Dreams was that it was a little too long.
The scenes were overly drawn out and could've been cut shorter .
Sometimes the dialogue was stretched far beyond need but overall the Bombay
Dreams experience was one I highly recommend anybody who has time while they
are in London to catch.
Power of the Himalayas - Unleashed
The war starts somewhere in the middle of the adventure. He is
arrested. He escapes. He, selfish as he is, actually finds a friend. They
roam around Tibet worse than beggars. Finally enter the holy city of Lhasa,
meet the Dalai Lama who becomes his mentor, and they become a part of
Tibet's turbulent past.
Pitt plays the role of Heinrich Harrer, the mountain-climber who, at the
beginning of the movie leaves you feeling like you want to give him a good
thrashing. At the end of it however not only do you like the intriguing
character, you are left with a curious desire to learn more about the man
and his mentor.
acting is creditable. The scenery can only be described as breathtaking. The
emphasis on the wrongs done, Tibet manages not to be gory but still provoke
fewer events could have been packed into the first half of the movie. Then
again, considering its length, only the pace saves the viewer a few yawns.
stunning combination of the spiritual and the adventurous - it was well
worth 139 minutes of being a couch potato!
Messiah - on boards again
brought to life great heroes and heroines and dramatic biblical characters.
He not only gave scope for the lapse of operatic props by dynamic choral
composition with decorative grandeur and clear visual display of movements
but also artistic musical interpretation. Messiah is one of these.
is a colossal monument to Handel and to privileged listeners a meditative
retreat to ponder the proclamation, sacrifice and promise which the Cantata
Singers sing about in excerpts made up of short relevant solos linked with
Chellappah conducts with instrumental support from Jayadeva Ratnanayagam
(organ) and Navin Fernando and Hemange Samaraweera (Trumpet). Soloists are
Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu, Avanti Perera, Asitha Tennekoon and Dhilan
Revelations will also be singing at this commemoration concert.
The Revelations is a popular group of male voices who gave their
first performance in 1994 followed by An Evening With Revelations in 2000
and An Evening With Sacred Music in 2001.
Revelations arrange music to suit the group's voice range and tonal quality
to bring out the beauty of the male voice on which the groups concentrates
to make music a listening pleasure. The group sings Maria, Up On The roof
and Old Man River, Conducted by Sanjeev Jayaratnam.
times gone by..
Merry An Singers in its 22 years has nurtured and devel-oped hundreds of
singers, including two out of three Concerto Competition winners, four out
of six Karaoke winners, two scholarship students at the Royal Academy of
Music, London, a Masters graduate from Guildhall, London and students who
have won leading roles in universities in the U.S.
& Santush who top the local charts cut their teeth under the tutelage of
Marry Anne David. However the singers moved on to higher studies and
professional careers. How then does this group cope? Director, Mary Anne
David says she has no less than 10 individual voices to prove that this
country has an abundance of vocal talent. The music and arrangements
selected for this concert from a wide variety of composers will have as much
appeal today as it did 50 years ago. There will be moments of nostalgia,
perhaps tears of tenderness, some laughter, the melodies of old time,
harmonies cunningly crafted and rhythms designed to literally move
better way to commemorate time than touch the music of a variety of
composers who have pleased and moved us over these 50 years? They still do
and the Merry An Singers have come up with a selection for their concert
aptly titled Yoretime. Variety being the spice of life, has sparked Mary
Anne David to mix and match the harmonies of Romberg against Rossini, the
rhythms of Gershwin with gospel. The
choir will tap opera, touch musicals and teenagers will effectively tackle
accompaniment is by the proven trio - electronic/sound engineer Neranjan De
Silva, a wizard on the keyboards; Christopher Prins a smiling magician on
drums and Mary Anne David on piano. The producer Andrew and Director Mary
Anne of this group have consistently maintained that their productions,
though amateur, strive for a professional finish and this entails 5%
inspiration and 95% perspiration.
concert is timed to finish by 8.15pm to allow bus travellers easy passage
and senior citizens an early night. The Lionel Wendt has always been the
preferred choice of the Merry An Singers for its concerts and they have
prepared this special programme to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the
pullers like Serenade and Because will highlight the twilight favourites
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Ma Curly Headed Baby. There will be a touch of
the classics Caro Mio Bein and Bacarolle to set-off full choral harmonies of
The Greatest Love Of All and The Music's Always There, My Grandfather's
Clock, The Cat Duet and instruction on Punctuation will be in lighter vein.
Some rousing gospel music is also on the cards. The choir has for many years
been complemented by the same group of brilliant musicians - Neranjan de
Silva, Christopher Prins and Many Anne David. So full-bodied sound in
perfect harmony/melody will be the order of the day.
Yoretime will go on boards at the Lionel Wendt on August 31.
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