Sunday, December 23, 2007


I happened to goto one of the famous Broadway shows in NY this weekend. In spite of the fact that I was a resident of New York city for almost 3 years, I never got a chance to make it to one the shows. But now that I moved to Pennsylvania and came down to spend this weekend at New York, I made it to "Mamma Mia", one of the famous shows running for over 5 years. Maybe the adage "Nearer the temple, lesser the devotion!" held true i my case. Whatever.

And my reaction to the show was nothing short of a gaped "Wow!!". I have seen many stage plays in Chennai, both at the amateur level and at the professional level. As a matter of fact, I have performed myself in many stage plays and skits during my school and college. But what I witnessed at the Winter Gardens was nothing close to whatever was even in my imagination. I got a strong feeling that you gotta stock more talent in yourself to act in a Broadway show than in Hollywood movies. People say Broadway shows are the stepping stones to Hollywood. I felt it should be the other way round.

The on-screen co-ordination the artists show, their choreographed movements, their musical gestures, their dialog flow - everything was stupendous! In the two hour show, there wasn't a single speck of flaw, whatsoever. If the on-screen artists contribute 40 percent to the success of the show, the orchestra contribute another 40 percent. For this was a musical show, the entertainment and enthusiasm would be null, sans good music. The orchestra, who were under the stage were in complete sync of the show on the stage, under the able direction of the Conductor/Music director.

Almost all the songs were a hit already and the way the orchestra played them made the audience go foot-tapping most of the times! And the remaining 20 percent of the success is contributed by the lighting and the stage organization. Yeah, be it an island or a bedroom or a dance bar, they were able to depict it as-is on the stage. And if the heroine dreams in her sleep, they were able to delineate that as well. All with just lighting and characterization. Wow!

And the last 5 minutes, every single person in the audiences was clapping in sync and I knew most of them were doing that involuntarily, falling trap to the music and the entertainment. They were completely glued to the stage, as the characters made their final appearances and bowed to the audience. Most of artists received standing ovation and am sure they deserved it.

Overall, when somebody spends 8 to 10 times the cost of a single movie for a Broadway show, they do expect ENTERTAINMENT and the Broadway show folks make sure they do!

To say in a simple sentence, "I felt the purpose of my birth"!

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