20 July 2009

Mamma Mia : the Hyderabad version

Last night was a Hyderabad experience. My friend L wanted to treat me for my birthday and that is how we ended up at the Shilpakalavedika auditorium in Hitech City. The event was the staging of 'Mamma Mia' by an Indian dance company, the Hot Shoe production. Albeit I had not gone with much expectation of being amazed at the performance I certainly expected a standard to be met since the cheapest tickets were Rs 500 and for a whopping Rs 2,500 you could sit right up in the front. And finally, I enjoy ABBA so if nothing else a sing-a-long was what I figured would happen.

L and I arrived early so we were seated 10 minutes in advance of the opening time, 7pm. Imagine our incredulity when the show hadn't started till 7:30 and on approaching the event management staff who were more clueless than a walrus in Kenya, I was informed that it was delayed because of the security arrangements. The organizers had overlooked the fact that a single metal detector was placed at the entrance to a hall that was about to be house full to about a 1,000 plus people. Add the Indian norm to show up late for any event and you had a heady mix of things running awry. The show didn't start till 8, a full hour later, when for an appetizing start we were subjected to a poor film on the Hot Shoe company and, the event's producer and choreographer. A wonderful tribute to both these was paid even before the show started. Honestly, I thought an encore came after the show, not before. After a poorly resolved screening we then had to watch a film on Micheal Jackson because this show was dedicated to him! Even the hundreds of tributes on youtube were much better than this slapdash effort. After this we were treated to a re-run on the production company. Finally, the actual show started replete with screaming young women and a dance troupe that looked like a poor copy cat of the Shiamak Davar group.

The show was poorly managed and performance second rate. But the voices were beautiful. All the songs were executed on cue and in perfect pitch, almost making me doubt if they were pre-recorded. Let me give them the benefit of the doubt. Oh, I also liked the cheesy part where the dancers wore suits that glowed in the dark. Yes, I am a sucker for glow in the dark stuff!

Sigh! I don't want to go on. All I can say is that the show is being staged in Bangalore next weekend and you would be a fool to buy tickets. Better to just play the ABBA songs on your ipod and be Nina, pretty ballerina at your own home.


  1. hey. your observations may be spot on... but i assure you... you have no idea what goes on behind the screens. i am talking about the particular show you attended. be well and keep it up!

  2. Hi Self, thanks for your comments. yes, I do think the philosophy of the actors and singers must be different from the event management but as the audience one finds it hard to distinguish the two.