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Top Bollywood Stars to Heat up Atlanta--Preview

March 2006
Top Bollywood Stars to Heat up Atlanta--Preview

In an exclusive preview for Khabar, Director Abu Malik shares a few tidbits about the upcoming HEAT 2006 mega show featuring some of the biggest names in Indian filmdom: Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen and Celina Jaitley accompanied by seventy crew members.

In many ways it's nothing new. Atlanta has seen a fair share of the best from India's Tinseltown descend upon its stages for a demonstration of their star power. Many a times these have been clich�d performances by over-priced and over-hyped bollywood biradaris. A few times though, these mega shows have truly soared with character and creativity and impassioned performances giving a glimpse of why these mortals from Mumbai command such a supernatural following across the oceans and even across the generations.

Whether the upcoming HEAT 2006 will be indeed be simmering or not is anybody's guess. However, if the people and institutions behind it offer any clues, there is a lot of promise. To begin with, there is Abu Malik, brother of famed music director and composer Anu Malik as the international director of Heat 2006, which will be touring the UAE, UK and U.S. On the U.S. roster, Atlanta is the 4th stop.

What exactly is the crux of this extravaganza that will make it stand out from the others, we wondered. "High energy," came the prompt response from Malik. He explained that this show has been planned as a high-energy non-stop rocking event with "hits followed by mega hits." Once the character of the show was so decided, the spearheads, Akshay Khanna and Saif Ali Khan fit in quite naturally.

With eight continuous hits in a row, including the recent super hit movie Garam Masala, Akshay is considered to be at the top of his game. A black-belt in karate, Akshay is known worldwide for his electric dance performances on stage. Lately, he is also known to sing impromptu Punjabi songs to the sound of the Bhangra music on stage.

Saif Ali Khan is one of the latest heartthrobs in Bollywood. This nawab is not resting on his pedigree! He currently enjoys the unique distinction of winning over both, the critics and the masses. On one hand, he has ruled at the box office with hits like Salaam Namaste, Hum Tum and Parineeta and on the other, he has vowed the critics by picking the National Award for best actor for his role in Parineeta. Saif is a natural dancer, as also an accomplished guitarist. His recent concert at Delhi, where he played the guitar for a local rock group, almost brought the city to a standstill.

Who knew that the fresh face of the Lyril soap commercial of yesteryears would rise to such heights of stardom? The bubbly Preity Zinta has come a long way from her days of modeling. She stands virtually alone at the peaks as the top female bollywood star of the times. Her countless recent hits include Salaam Namaste with Saif Ali Khan. She is a natural, on and offstage, and brings a unique brand of natural dancing talent to the show.

The intelligent Miss Universe and the heart throb of millions, Sushmita Sen, had difficulty taking time off from her current films both, in Bollywood and in Hollywood. With multiple hits in the year 2005, she is presently shooting for the Hollywood film Karma Cola with supermodel Naomi Campbell, besides a number of Bollywood movies. Sen was seduced into Heat 2006 much later after she came to see the scale and caliber of the event.

Miss India Celina Jaitley is presently riding high on the success of No Entry and she decided to do the event for the "sheer electricity" that the event promised to generate through its focus on dance and music.

"The rehearsals for the event started two months in advance, with choreographers carefully guiding the stars and the dance crew through the elaborate sequences. The artists realize that expectations will be high from them and thus intend to work hard to protect their well deserved respect over the years," said an enthusiastic Malik.

Locally, the event is in the able hands of Robin Raina, the founder of his namesake charitable foundation that has taken a leading role in the benefit of under-privileged children in the Indian subcontinent. "I want to make charity cool," Raina had said in an earlier interview with Khabar. What could be cooler than Heat 2006!

The Robin Raina Foundation (RRF), in the process of charity for some of India's most needy, has energized the desi entertainment scene in Atlanta. Having made concerts and shows a signature modus of the charity, RRF, last year, gave the community the first public concert at the historic and grand Fabulous Fox Theatre, that of legendary singer Asha Bhonsle. RRF has demonstrated how bringing corporate know-how and practices not only redefined entertainment standards locally but also helped provide smiles to needy children.

Currently, the foundation is working on Raina Ashray, a project for disabled children in Delhi. It addresses disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, handicapped limbs and hearing problems. RRF has adopted the education, food, clothing, and shelter needs of close to 1100 children across the subcontinent.

Talking about the event, Raina said, "It is obviously nice to have somebody like Akshay in Atlanta, since he presently supports a number of children in one of our joint venture projects for the under-privileged girl children in Mumbai. Also, Akshay and Saif are both live wires on-stage and are bound to make Atlanta rock."

Haven Trust Bank and Khabar Magazine are the local sponsors of the show, which is on April 14th at the Gwinnett Arena.

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