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Mughal-E-Azam, a spectacular stage production based on the immortal film

July 2023
Mughal-E-Azam, a spectacular stage production based on the immortal film

Atlanta was the first stop of a multi-city tour in the U.S. of the show that both critics and the audience are raving about. The roughly two-hour show at the Cobb Energy Center in Marietta was mesmerizing. The cast and crew of more than 150 left no stone unturned to deliver an unbelievably profound sight-sound-music experience.

[Left] Bollywood’s immortal film came alive on stage.

The costumes created by the chic Bollywood designer Manish Malhotra added to the grandeur of the stage. The gorgeous set-silhouettes by award winner Neil Patel were pulled up and brought down in rotations. The sidewalls of the Energy Center ran concurrent English translations of the spoken dialogues and live singing by the main characters, making it easy for attendees. The other wellearned highlights of the presentation included the unmistakably classic dance choreography by Mayuri Upadhyay, and the lighting design by David Lander.

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AroundTown_04_07_23.jpgLocal promoter Bhavna Anand was present in the audience and later honored on stage for her company’s involvement. The performance, which went live within fifteen minutes of the announced start time, was exceptionally tight in that there was not a single hiss in any of the microphones. Following the intermission, the attendees were herded back into the auditorium on time, and the show ended just as promptly. To prove that the singing was live, the two main characters (Anarkali and Bahaar) performed a live sound-check on stage with their voices.

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The musical cast a spell on the audience with its rich performances. 

The movie Mughal-E-Azam, which immortalized the forbidden love of Prince Salim, son of mighty emperor Akbar, with Anarkali, a courtesan, is Bollywood’s most expensive movie ever (adjusted for inflation). Conceived in 1944 by K. Asif, it was released only in 1960, and then rereleased in 2004 after a digital color conversion. After a triumphant return in 2016 as a stage production, it won a slew of awards including seven of the top Broadway awards. 

VIREN MAYANI

 


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