Expect to see Donald Trump imitations and Olympic references in this adaptation of an Arabian Nights favourite.
If music composer Karthik Raja directed a Tamil version of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp as Pattanathil Bhootham last September, it is the turn of Vijay Victor, choreographer, singer and actor, to do an encore of his 2013 adaptation of the same story, but with an amaranthine aura this time around.
Of carpets and lamps
Aladdin – A musical journey, presented by city-based Victor (28) and Swathi Sadhwani’s Studio 360, along with Record Production, promises to be a kaleidoscope of dance, music, magic and humour. It may be a retelling of an ancient tale, but the makers are keen on keeping the content contemporary. “Expect to see the genie imitate Donald Trump or share his thoughts on the Olympics in this production,” says Sadhwani (28), who has also choreographed the production along with Victor. Theatre actor, voice-over artist and RJ, Sandeep John, who plays Genie, calls it the most exciting thing he has done in his eight-year stint in theatre. He admits “it is impossible to be Robin Williams while playing the genie”, in an obvious reference to the 1992 animated feature, but they’ve “kept it fun and appealing.” “We’ve tried so much to break the fourth wall lot, that sometimes it feels like a standup show,” says the 33-year-old, adding that the role provides scope for a good deal of improv. Besides John, the production features some of the popular names in Chennai theatre, including Vaishwath Shanker (Aladdin), dentist-cum-actor Yohan Chako (Jafar) and singer Sangita Santosham (Jasmine). The production is based on a script by Sophia Ashraf, with V Balakrishnan of Theatre Nisha serving as acting consultant.
Fun for all
The two-and-a-half-hour production is for children as much as it is for their parents, explains Victor. “When it premiered in Chennai three years ago, we even had 80-year-olds in the audience,” he says, speaking of its appeal. Following its premiere, the earlier show—produced by composer Karthikraja—travelled to Bengaluru. Having completed a two-year course on Broadway jazz from New York’s Peridance Capezio Centre, Victor says the production will feature a lot of jazz, with some Viennese waltz, rhumba and hip-hop thrown in. There are about five dance pieces in all, he shares, making special mention of a dreamy ballad, The Cliché Song, for its choreography.
On September 4, at 7 pm, at Sir Mutha Hall. Rs 500-Rs 2,000. Details: eventjini.com