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Preview: Stars to Rock Atlanta

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May 2006
Preview: Stars to Rock Atlanta

It is a coup of sorts – to get the hottest celebrities in Bollywood together on one stage. Atlanta will witness this star-studded extravaganza, with the controversial but highly popular SALMAN KHAN at the helm.

On May 12th, Atlanta will witness not one, not two, but seven sizzling stars at the Gwinnett Arena, Duluth for Rock Stars. Beefy hunks Salman Khan, John Abraham and Zayed Khan, will take center stage with chocolate-boy Shahid Kapur and his real-life leading lady, Kareena Kapoor, along with Indian sex symbol Mallika Sherawat, Esha Deol, and some great dancers. That's not all. Seventy-seven lucky ticket holders will get an once-in-a-lifetime chance to dine with the actors at an exclusive dinner hosted on May 11th.

The show, being dubbed "the Concert of the Millennium", is expected to go beyond anything ever seen or done before on stage by the Moranis. The show will revolve around the evolution of its stars, each of whom will begin as an aam insaan (mere mortal) that they were and then morph into a rock star that they are now. The Moranis have created a unique persona to go with the personality of each star. This is the first time super-star Salman Khan and brother, actor, and director Sohail Khan have joined hands with the Moranis. The Khans have been there every step of the way, right from conception of the idea of the concert to its execution. Mohammad Morani says, "Salman has been the first one to shoot the promos, and the other stars are sitting at his house working out details of their performances with Salman." The star that has been a heartthrob and a youth icon for years has helped guide the others, since many of them are touring the United States for the first time.

"Usually we start rehearsing a few days before a tour. This is truly going to be the concert of the millennium because we have spent more than a month and a half preparing and rehearsing for this tour," adds Salman.

After some initial hiccups involving the uncertainty surrounding the hunky Khan's impending sentencing, Salman, who is currently out on bail, has been given permission to travel abroad for his concerts. "I don't know who is spreading these rumors, but I am coming for the concerts and I will be there soon," said Salman in an exclusive interview that can be heard on www.premji.com, the official concert promotion website by Klub Klassics and Mark Premji. In fact, Salman has been working several hours daily, since his release from jail, to ensure a stellar performance. According to an interview by Mohammad Morani, Salman supposedly has a special act for each city. After the trials and tribulations of the last few days, Salman's popularity seems to be on the rise, if the mind-boggling price his latest movie is commanding from distributors is any indication.

John Abraham is perhaps the hottest star on the Bollywood horizon right now. He beat the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, numerous sports personalities and other prominent celebrities to be crowned Zoom's Red Hot Countdown's "Most Desirable Indian Male Alive". Not just that, John has proven his mettle as an actor with a variety of films, each moving him one rung further up the ladder of success. Having met him, I can say he is also one of the nicest people you can come across. A down-to-earth actor, John wears his success very lightly on his shoulders. The first time he visited Atlanta a few years ago, it was to be with his lady, Bipasha Basu, who had come here for a show. But this time around, it's John who is all set to create some dhoom on stage.

John loves his fans and says, "Some stars are built by the industry with the weight of institutional marketing. Others are made by their audience. I haven't been the industry's fortunate son and I am glad that that my audience has helped me get where I am today. I am well aware of the considerable debt I owe my audience. And I try my best to give my all to every performance. Whenever possible, I try to stay in touch with my audience, because they are my greatest gift."

Rumor has it that both Salman and John are going to get up close and personal with their fans during the show!

Zayed Khan, son of famous actor Sanjay Khan, became an instant heartthrob with his charming performance in Main Hoon Na and has not looked back since. In an exclusive interview, Zayed said, "The rehearsals have been long and tiring. It's a huge show with seven artists and there is a lot to put together, but there is a lot of nervous energy, the adrenalin is flowing and we are all really excited about the show." When asked what his fans should expect from his act, Zayed said, "Well, most people perceive me as an action oriented guy, which I am, but I also love to dance, so we have incorporated martial arts into some of my dances. Each star has his or her own persona, one is a biker, another is a salsa dancer, and another a drummer."

As to who is who, you will have to just come to the show and see for your self. Till then keep guessing.

Shahid Kapur, who made it to the top 20 along with Zayed in the Zoom competition, said in an exclusive interview, "This is my first tour abroad, but I have heard that the people are very warm, supportive and welcoming. So while I am nervous, I am very excited and am working very hard, but I can do with all the good wishes and support of everyone out there in Atlanta and the U.S."

When asked what he was going to do for his fans, Shahid said he is perceived as a good dancer and he loves dancing to any kind of good music, so he gets to showcase a lot of his dancing talent. There are also a lot of other fun things in the show that he will be doing apart from rocking the stage with his moves. But mum's the word.

Kareena Kapoor, Mallika Sherawat, and Esha Deol round out the rest of the rock star ensemble. Kareena visited Atlanta a few years ago and while she was nervous, she did pretty well. She is more confident now and will be doing a lot of fun stuff with boyfriend Shahid.

Mallika Sherawat, who was catapulted to international fame after her movie with Jackie Chan and being voted a youth icon by Riz Khan of CNN International, is on her maiden tour and a lot is expected from her. Esha Deol, trained in classical dance by her mother, dream girl Hema Malini, is going to add a classical touch to her performance.

In fact, Salman Khan and Mohammad Morani both say that the actresses are going to wow every one with their mind-blowing performances. Salman said he was very impressed by the professionalism and talent of the three actresses and in his opinion "each one of them will take your breath away".

Shahid Kapur, on behalf of all the stars, wanted to reassure everyone that the show was on schedule and added that the temporary delay has only helped the stars further perfect and polish their acts. "The show is a great mix of everything and a complete package. This is our promise to all of you who have waited and wondered whether we will be there or not - we will give you one rocking night!"

By KAVITA CHHIBBER


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