Musical journey to the past

Last Updated 16 June 2012, 12:14 IST

For a nation obsessed with Bollywood, here’s a chance to relive some of that magic and the masti of a blockbuster Hindi film, complete with song and dance, mesmerising dream sequences and daring aerial acts, a chance to experience it all come alive on stage, through ‘Jhumroo’.

A light-hearted musical comedy which celebrates the spirit of Kishore Kumar, ‘Jhumroo’ brings all of this and more to you. So, if you’re going to be in Gurgaon sometime soon, do catch one of the shows at the Nautanki Mahal — which incidentally is India’s first 4-D theatre at the Kingdom of Dreams.

While ‘Zangoora - The Gypsy Prince’, the first musical staged by the Kingdom of Dreams, is all set for a world tour this year, ‘Jhumroo’, their latest grand scale musical production, is bound to keep you fascinated and have you singing along, if not dancing, right through the two-and-a-half-hour show.

Ask Viraf Sarkari, director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, and he beams joyously, “Kishore Kumar is undoubtedly one of the greatest performers we have ever seen and through ‘Jhumroo’, we decided to celebrate his spirit. And, what better way to pay tribute to the legend than through a musical?”

The storyline is, however, kept simple and revolves around Bhola, a huge Kishore Kumar fan who has only two dreams — the first, to become a singing superstar and second, to woo the love of his life, Meena. But, the twist in the tale is that Bhola is a lousy singer and Meena is oblivious to his existence. So, out steps the spirit of Kishore da, his idol, to make his dreams come true, and how!

Amidst foot tapping music, well choreographed moves, and some high drama, a little bit of ‘magic’ is thrown in, ingeniously, where Kishore da’s spirit enters Bhola’s body and makes him not only win the title of ‘India’s Super Singer’, but also Meena’s heart.

Apart from Kishore da’s evergreen music and some fancy footwork by the actors, the character who steals the show is none other than Bhola, played by Gaurav Gera. Interestingly, Gaurav, the popular TV actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the geeky character Nandu from the popular sitcom Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, is no stranger to the world of musicals.

Before moving to Mumbai, Gaurav was actively a part of the Delhi theatre scene and ‘Jhumroo’ is more of a homecoming for him.

In Bhola, the audience gets to see a whole new side to the geeky Nandu, as he transforms into a ball of energy and opens the musical with a riveting performance to the beats of the Kishore Kumar classic Om Shanti Om, and continues to exude the same spirit throughout the show.

As we caught up with the fun loving actor, he shared, “I am delighted to play Bhola in ‘Jhumroo’ as Kishore da is very close to my heart. This musical gives us a chance to pay our tributes to the master. Also, performing in front of a live audience is always a great feeling.”

He goes on to reveal, “The first time I watched ‘Zangoora’, I made a small wish, of wanting to play a role like that, and miraculously, a few months later, when I bagged the role of Bhola, it was almost like a dream come true.” But ‘Jhumroo’ was a lot of hard work, he admits. “We had a strict regime of workouts and dance rehearsals for months. So, for a person like me, the show almost came as a blessing in disguise. It has certainly changed my lifestyle to a healthier one!”

Agreeing with him, Meena, his love interest in the musical, adds, “‘Jhumroo’ has been one of my best working experiences. We have had to work really hard to build up the stamina required for the aerial acts and the super charged dance routines and it has been anything but easy.”

Incidentally, Meena is a bubbly and vivacious character played by an equally charged actor Shweta Gulati, better known for her work in popular TV shows like Remix and Dill Mill Gayye, amongst others.

Shweta is glad to be a part of this experience as it involves doing things she’s never done before. She remembers how her days at work suddenly got longer as they involved heavy duty training and a rigorous fitness regime besides regular rehearsals required to pull off a show like this one.

And their hard work definitely seems to have paid off, especially when it comes to the aerial choreography, where the actors are seen flying high above the audiences on hang gliders or romancing one another and doing somersaults, all while being suspended in mid air.

Packed with the most popular retro songs from Kishore Kumar’s films, complemented by some brilliant choreography, flamboyant costumes and elaborate stage setups, ‘Jhumroo’ also showcases larger than life props, new age graphics and some mind-blowing special effects along with a high energy performance by the star cast, which leaves the audience thoroughly entertained.

While the fascinating use of technology and the grandeur of the sets keep you spellbound, what comes as a bit of a surprise is the level of audience interaction, where the crowd is actually encouraged to shake a leg and sing along to the classic numbers, ensuring that you have a happy experience and leave with a smile on your face and the sound of those Kishore numbers ringing in your ears.

(Published 16 June 2012, 12:14 IST)

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