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Stand-up comedy, music and theatre come your way, across the next two months

Kicking off today, Stage42 showcases Indian artistes like Vir Das, Rajat Kapoor, Swarathma, Nucleya, Kenny Sebastian, Parvaaz, Reggae Rajahs, Anuvab Pal and Russel Peters. The festival taking place simultaneously in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune will conclude on March 27. Put together by Only Much Louder, of Bacardi NH7 Weekender fame, expect flea markets and food experiments too. In town, Indigo Live Music Bar, The Humming Tree and Counter Culture are a few of the hosts. A comedian, thespian and singer, tell us more.

Akarsh Khurana

Akvarious, which started out as a theatre group in the year 2000, will perform The Interview, a play about the corporate world. Akarsh Khurana, the proprietor of the troupe, tells us more.

Describe what your play is about.
The Interview, as the title suggests,
is about a job interview. A young man steps into a nameless corporation looking for employment and is almost immediately caught in a web of office politics. It is a satire on the corporate world, and insecurities that plague it.

Your views on Stage 42.
The festival is showcasing so much variety and over a prolonged period of two months. Many forms of live entertainment are being represented. And I’m happy that theatre is being promoted as strongly as everything else..

An act you’d love to watch from
the line-up.
I like Nucleya so I would love to attend his gig. I also can’t get enough of Madboy/Mink and Nischay Parekh.

In the pipeline.
Aadyam, backed by the Birlas, has upped the scale somewhat for us. Then my father, Akash Khurana, is directing a spoofy madcap version of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Curtain call

A true-blue Bengali, whose current show, The Empire, is all about British hangovers, Anuvab Pal tells us more about being a stand-up comedian, his influences and how his humour is similar to the love child of Woody Allen and Rishikesh Mukherjee!

What inspires you when writing?
Biryani. Waiting. And post writing.

Your career highlights.
Probably this interview. Second, performing for Sachin Tendulkar. And third, the time I performed at a children’s show in Trivandrum where they’d got a comedian by mistake.

Comedy and religion.
Yes, I weave them in together. I pray before and after shows.

Has your humour got you in
trouble ever?
It gets me into trouble all the time. Most people don’t understand irony so they take me seriously. It also got me into bigger trouble in life. Now that I’ve quit my job and do this, I hear people say the same thing about cocaine. Comedy is my drug of trouble.

Anyone who has influenced your style.
Eddie Izzard and my driver.

PARVAAZ

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After working on basic melodies and competing at college festivals, they released their first EP Behosh, followed by their debut LP, Baran, last year. Parvaaz takes on the stage of Indigo Live Music Bar.

Describe your unique sound.
Our songs are sometimes hard to
pin down into any specific genre. But the cool thing is that we have received adulation from all types of music lovers, be it blues fans, rock lovers or even
metal-heads.

More on your gig at Stage42.
After releasing our debut album, Baran last September, we have been working on new material. So the fans can look forward to being treated to a fresh set
of songs.

What are you looking forward to?
We look forward to meeting interesting people and above all presenting our music to an eager audience. And fans too should really get off the couch and go watch the performances. Life without music is a waste of time!
Details: insider.in/stage42

— Aakanksha Devi

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