by Manju Sampat
Raell Padamsee’s Ace Productions premiered their latest show “How I met Your Father” over the weekend at St. Andrews auditorium in Bandra. This “laugh a minute” comedy features the comic duo Kunal Vijayker and Cyrus Broacha. Joining them on stage were Maya, Cyrus’s young daughter, and Gopal Dutt, who often accompanies them on their iconic TV show. Amongst the luminaries present for this premier show were theatre doyen Alyque Padamsee, Songstress Sharon Prabhakar and the beautiful Anjali Tendulkar with her daughter Sara. The laughter that resonated through the house all along, was a sure sign of this show too being a hit!
The show starts with Maya asking Kunal, “so how did you meet my father?”
Then follow a series of hilarious situations where the two, Kunal and Cyrus regale us with their superb comic timing and funny one liners. These are interjected with equally funny interactions with the audience and often some of them are asked to appear on stage to provide more comical situations!
Most of the episodes being enacted, had the audience in splits, especially the first one at the airport. You wait at one departure gate, then at the last minute the departure gate is changed, you run to the other one, which is invariably faraway and you just about make it. Once you get to your seat, the guy next to you keeps making inane conversation…so where are you going? Why do people ask obvious questions, is Cyrus’s grouse! Equally hilarious was the one dealing with the “super star doctor”. How patients pay through their nose for treatment by the so called ‘specialists’ but end up seeing them for just a very brief period and are treated by the underlings instead!
Kunal is really versatile. He acts as Ram Rahim the “Insane”, as well as a Gujarati gentleman and a Maharashtrian one too, and then is brilliant as a Keralite nurse! She asks the patient Cyrus, to remove his clothes so she can check if his “testicles are black!” On seeing her instruction sheet, Cyrus discovers she has been asked to check if the “test results are back”!
Gopal Dutt as Siriram, the GPS guide and as the lift man from Bihar gives a very spirited performance. However, the scene with him and Kunal in the urinal is quite crass and its “bathroom humour” is not befitting of a discerning audience. Anyway, the best is reserved for the last, as the highlight of this show is the last episode where Cyrus enacts the TV chat show, “Toffee with Taran”. He gets all the gestures and nuances from the original chat show, spot on. His flashy clothes, make up, body language and the formatting of questions he asks his guests, plainly spoof the original!
Interestingly, the show opens with the graphic of Walt Disney’s Looney Tunes projected on stage, but instead, on the red concentric circles is inscribed “How I Met Your Father” in yellow! A sure fire of preparing the audience for a “looney ” show ahead! All the other backgrounds are also projected on stage, for instance the lift, the inside of the aircraft, the hospital room etc. A very clever ploy indeed, and it certainly adds to the enjoyment of viewing this comedy caper.