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Passage to Bollywood a simply bedazzling show Print E-mail
26 June 2017

I went prepared to be thrilled, to be wowed by the vibrant colours of their outfits and to be energised by their dancing and music. I was not disappointed.

A Passage to Bollywood is simply bedazzling, as I and many other theatregoers who thronged the Mandela Stage of the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein on the opening night of this exhilarating Indian musical on Thursday June 22 soon found out.

It was not just the colourful and energetic dance routines that left me spellbound; it was the gripping plot – which marries romance and the theatrics of a wannabe godfather with jealousy and hope – that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole 80-minute show.

With this musical, artistic director and choreographer Ashley Lobo proves why he is one of Bollywood’s most sought-after movie producers of his generation. Lobo does a great job with the 20-plus cast of dancers.

A Passage to Bollywood is a riot of colour with high-energy, foot-tapping performances, and classical and modern music. During the intoxicating show, those lucky enough to understand the lyrics enthusiastically joined in, joyously clapping their hands and singing along all night long, excited to witness such an amazing performance direct from India.

This action-packed musical delivers the Indian Bollywood culture plot in an easy-to-follow format. Broken down into 17 chapters, each chapter introduces and deals with specific issues in the musical. There is drama, action, romance and dance, just like in an actual Bollywood film.

In Chapter 1 the main characters are introduced, complete with brief synopsis of who they are, laying the foundation of the storyline. Sandy is a villager who moves to Mumbai to find fame and fortune. He navigates the culture shock as he is confronted by the fast-paced life in the city.

The Don thinks he is in charge of everything, while Leela is the woman who ends up in some sort of love triangle, resulting in jealousy.

Their stories are told through song and high-energy dance. It is the sheer beauty of the music and the many glittering costumes that, without really distracting from the storyline, put this musical in a class of its own. Its bauty and the insane energy will leave you completely satisfied and fulfilled.

By the time you get to chapter 17, you have an appreciation of how interwoven ambitions, hard work, love, jealousy and hope are. – Doreen Zimbizi

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Last Updated on 26 June 2017