To say that pakistan has a serious dearth of theatre and musicals which form an even more niche part of this industry would be the understatement on the year. Overworked underpaid and struggling, the industry has a few backers and supporters in this country where arts as a profession neither fits in with the main stream rightest narrative nor is appreciated easily in the public sphere. Not that there is any shortage of people who want to see good art and theatre but the fact is that they are but a silent majority willing to buy tickets when a good show is on but other then that mute at whats going on.
The being said Nida Butts Made for stage productions has taken on a herculean task 10 years ago at which they are still focused on their 10 year anniversary. The mantle of introducing and bringing live musicals with all the songs and acts being done right there in front of their audience. I remember very clearly when i took my young daughter to watch her musical “Mamma Mia” a few years ago and what joy it brought to us as for a couple of hours we all forgot everything and sang and danced like there was no tommorow.
This year we have been equally excited to go see “Grease” making a comeback with an almost all new cast then when it was released in 2014 last to roaring success. Suffice to say when the lights dim and Ahmed Ali saunters on stage as a young brash John travolta playing Danny Zuko too cool to be loved by the girl next door “Sandy” Seerat Jaffri one cant help but be zoomed back memory lane to high school when we were all either cool or not with it as far as groupings of friends are concerned.
For the next 2 hours or so you will watch the drama unfold amidst chuckles brought on mainly by Ahmed’s quips which he has down to a T and Rizzos (natasha ejaz’s) antics who is the leader of the “pink ladies” and for me outshone just about everyone including Ahmed in her role. A very very difficult thing to do i might add as she is filling in the quite large shoes of a Sanam Saeed from the last edition of the show. The only part in the show i watched which to me was a bit lacking was the one mike which happened to be getting some interference, a bit disappointing as the cast was singing so well and even shrugged it aside to over come this hurdle.
We came out of the show on a high oblivious at least for 2.5 hours of the mayhem we call daily life in pakistan and that to me is the most valuable thing about a musical like grease. The escape it offers the chance it gives for people to just relax and enjoy a good tune once in a while. So do watch the show!! Its on till April 11th or you will be missing out on something amazing!! Do also spare a thought for why acts and musicals like this are not as promoted as they should be in our country where we are fed a constant diet of negativity by just about every medium available in this nation..spare a thought for why clean enriched experiences are disappearing from our narrative as a nation.