A Night on Broadway
Review by Manju Sampat
Audiences were regaled last night at the Royal Opera House, to a scintillating Night on Broadway. This memorable show was produced and directed by Jiji Subi and Vishaal Asrani who run Vaipa Musicals.
The show had a houseful audience totally enthralled, as they took a trip down memory lane, with the biggest hits from New York’s Broadway and London’s West End. This musical evening had them grooving and singing along as Vishaal Asrani, Sarosh Nanavaty and Avantika Kampani, belted out evergreen hits from musicals like Chicago, Cats, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music and Cabaret, along with the hits of musical legends such as John Lennon, Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston & Frank Sinatra to name a few! The live singing by Vishaal Asrani, Sarosh Nanavaty & Avantika Kampani was accompanied by superb dances sequences, that were choreographed by Rhea Vesuwala, Manjiri Sawant, Naveed Shaikh & Vivek Sonawane. Their dazzling performances were backed by state of the art lighting and sound effects. LED backdrops and stunning costumes designed by top Indian and International designers, made this show even more spectacular. The costumes were truly amazing.
The show opened very dramatically, with a plane landing in New York, and the air hostesses announcing to the passengers that they should catch some shows on Broadway. Then Vishal and Sarosh performed a wonderful version of the song “New York New York”. The song was enhanced with visuals of the New York skyscrapers behind the two lead singers. Some of the songs were sung solo by Sarosh, while Vishaal sung solo on some numbers. Sarosh did a great job with the Whitney Houston song “I have Nothing “ from the film The Body Guard, and she was also terrific enacting and singing the song “Don’t tell mama”, as dancers in lace corsets twirled around her. Vishaal sang “I dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserable fabulously but he was absolutely fantastic when he did a medley of Madonna songs, dressed in drag, and as Madonna. In his blonde and red hair wigs and long gowns with huge bows, he managed to look every inch like Madonna as he sang her hits, “Just like a Virgin”, “I will Survive” and “Material Girl”. And what’s more Vishaal sang in a Madonna like voice too!
The show was further enhanced by great sets, and an excellent minus one music score. A commentary contextualised the songs and this also added to the enjoyment of the show. The enactment of the song “Phantom of the Opera”, was quite dramatic, especially when the Phantom takes Christine away in a gilded boat, and this was really quite stunning to watch on stage. Sarosh sang “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, superbly and I also loved her rendering of “Memories” from the musical Cats. The twelve year old Avantika Kampani was really sweet with her version of “Que Sera Sera” and “My Favourite Things”. For the finale they performed some of the ABBA hits from the ever popular “Mama Mia”, like “Thank you for the Music”, and as the encore the ensemble performed “Voulez Vous”. A total paisa vasool show!