St Andrews auditorium in Bandra, was the venue for Saturday’s premiere show of a Broadway style musical play, that transported the audience back to the Golden Era of the swinging sixties and seventies. ‘Strangers in the Night’, is a play full of Jazz and pop songs that were originally sung by legends whose timeless music still stands the test of time. The houseful audience just loved this show that has been produced by Shamiana, the well known company run by Cyrus Dastur, which regularly curates superb short film shows. Shreya Valecha, also from Shamiana, is the assistant producer.
‘Strangers in the Night’, is based in a New York café of the 1960’s. This is a Story of love, friendship and unspoken emotions. It stars some of the freshest young voices on the Bombay stage. In fact, that was the most refreshing part of this production. A club singer Jimmy (Dean Sequeira), who croons every night at Café New York has his legion of fans who can’t get enough of him! And that includes the Café owner Bruno ( Sukrit Sharma), the head waitress Sheila (Astrid Alphonso), as well as regulars at the cafe Andre (Richard Joel) and his girl friend Rita (Parvati Ramchandran), and also the young girl Ruby (Shriya Rao), who just adores Jimmy. However, Jimmy’s heart beats for a girl (Rhiya Jauhari), who walks into the café but is too lost in her book to look at him. Days pass and Jimmy starts becoming restless till one fine day he chooses to speak to her. Our lady does not respond and that infuriates Jimmy even further. And then one day they discover discover the truth and why she does not reciprocate.
What follows is a unique tale of wooing through songs and sign language where everyone joins in and since all’s well that ends well, the girl responds and finally Jimmy goes out on a date with her! The narrative is full of timeless classic songs, including Autumn Leaves, Strangers in the Night, Jailhouse Rock, Sooper Trooper, New York New York, That’s Amore, Que Sera Sera, Sway, and many more. With 16 songs and lots of music, it is a perfect blend of Music and Theatre and ideal for audiences today, who have whole heartedly opened up to musical productions! So this musical is perfect for them, as it is not so much about the story line, but about the wonderful selection of songs!
ABOUT ‘Strangers in the Night’
‘Strangers in the Night’ has been written and directed by Shreyas Porus Pardiwalla, and he has done a great job of both these aspects. The simple sets and costumes are vintage sixties and therefore most apt and effective. All the actors on stage get a chance to sing and dance, but the singing prowess of Dean, Astrid, and Shriya are particularly remarkable. Dean did a terrific job of singing the Frank Sinatra numbers New York, New York and My Way. Also the way Dean sang Can’t take my Eyes off from You, the song made popular in the late sixties by Vicky Carr, was quite masterful. Shriya, with her deep voice was great on Fly Me to the Moon, while Astrid sang the French introduction to Autumn Leaves beautifully. I loved the way they all sang Elvis’s Jailhouse Rock together and then sang it for the encore as well. Another effective ploy was the way the cast first talked about Love and its many vagaries, and then broke into the Dean Martin song That’s Amore! All the songs have been sung to accompanying minus one tracks. Without fail, the audience was mouthing the words to the songs being sung on stage. Just goes to show the joy and power of songs we know and love!
Another show will be performed at the Royal Opera House on April 14th and tickets for this are available on BookMyShow.