Broadway and Theater

Bangla Natok (Bengali Drama) Review: Maru Behag's "Ghare Baire" at Tapan Theater feat. inmates of Alipore Correctional Home

Bangla Natok Ghare Baire by Maru Behag Kolkata

Kolkata April 11, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Tapan Theater at south Kolkata has a long standing tradition of hosting popular plays. Despite the burgeoning impact of TV shows and multiplexes, the theater lovers of Kolkata have not lost their passion for watching stage performances.

Bangla Natok Ghare Baire by Maru Behag Kolkata

On 16th of March, 2012, the troupe Maru Behag performed a drama based on Rabindranath Tagore’s seminal novel ‘Ghare Baire’. The play, directed by Jolly Guharoy was performed by the inmates of the Alipore Correctional Home in Kolkata. It was once again heart-warming to see the prison inmates perform passionately on stage after their earlier performance at Tapan Theater, based on a dramatic rendition of Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Chokher Bali’. While a large number of police personnel kept close vigil in and around the theater premises, the performers were oblivious of their presence and were completely absorbed into their acts. And much like the earlier occasion, we amused ourselves, pondering about the rareness of the event.

Bangla Natok Ghare Baire by Maru Behag Kolkata



KA: Cirque du Soleil: MGM Grand, Las Vegas

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When Cirque du Soliel’s Iris team performed a show during the 84th Annual Academy Awards function at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles on 26th February 2012, the anchor Billy Crystal commented that he had a hamstring injury just watching the show for 5 minutes. Wonder what thousands of people who have watched Cirque’s KA at MGM, Las Vegas for whole 90 minutes would have to say?


WBRi Drama Review: Crisis of Civilization: A journey with Tagore – A tribute to Rabindranath Tagore by Jagriti Theater

Ranjan Ghoshal as Rabindranath Tagore in Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Theater)
Ranjan Ghoshal as Rabindranath Tagore in Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore

February 25, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) On the 24th of February, Kolkata witnessed the performance of Crisis of Civilization: A journey with Tagore by Jagriti theatre Bangalore.  Directed by Jagadish Raja, this was a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary.

Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Kolkata Theater)

Instead of following the clichéd path of staging a play written by Tagore, the group made an effort to bring the ideology of the great personality in front of the audience. Normally people know Tagore for his literary contributions but the facets of this visionary as an educationist, statesman and philosopher have been thrown light upon through this event.

Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Kolkata Theater)

This was a theatrical representation of “Sobhyotar Sonkat”, a speech delivered by the stalwart on his 80th birthday. In this speech Tagore expressed his concerns on the several fallacies that come with the advancement of civilization.

WBRi attended the theater production and presents a report.



Make time for a Classic drama UPANISHAD GANGA

Mumbai, India (Washington Bangla Radio / Free-Press-Release.com) After watching the film ‘Rakht Charitra’ one could only hate the villainous character played by ‘Abhimanyu Singh’. Of course it was only because of his performance that one actually got fixated with his character. Later too, he bagged a Star Dust award for his negative role in the film ‘Gulaal’.



WBRi Drama Review: Bangla Natok CHOKHER BALI at Tapan Theater Performed by Maru Behag with Inmates of Alipore Correctional Homes

Poster of Rabindranath Tagore's CHOKHER BALI Bangla Natok

Kolkata February 23, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Tapan Theater has witnessed a long history of notable stage performances by renowned troupes. However on 22nd of February, 2012, the situation was slightly different as the audience was greeted to performers of a special kind.

The members of troupe ‘Maru Behag’ and the inmates of Alipore Central Correctional Home and Alipore Women’s Correctional Home performed Rabindranath Tagore’s seminal masterpiece ‘Choker Bali’ on stage.

A Scene from Bengali Drama CHOKHER BALI (Bangla Natok)

The play was performed to celebrate the 150th birth centenary of one of the most influential figures of Bengali literature. However, one does not often get to watch stage performances by inmates of a correctional house, but watching them perform passionately on stage surely lifted our spirits.

A Scene from Bengali Theater CHOKHER BALI (Bangla Natok)

For people who have been deprived of a more traditional course of life, their rendition of the Tagore novel appeared even more remarkable. They performed with unprecedented fervor, completely oblivious of the numerous police personnel that surveyed the area and formed a part of their audience. The freewheeling performance of the cast pleased many and one could occasionally catch curious eyes popping in and out of the auditorium.

Read our full review of the unique performance of Bangla natok "Chokher Bali".



WBRi Theater Review: Krishan vs Kanhaiya - Paresh Rawal delivers another brilliant performance

Paresh Rawal on Stage

Calcutta, February 11, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): Did you ever think why you keep a fast on a certain festival? When you go for “anjali” (offering to God) in different temples or puja pandals, did you even try to find out the meaning of the Sanskrit chanting that you repeat after the priest? Did you ask yourself why you make a hefty donation in the temples when a number of beggars are sitting right outside pleading for a penny or two?

Paresh Rawal on Stage

If your answer to these questions is “NO” then “Krishan vs. Kanhaiya” is a must watch for you!!! If “YES” then you are already in sync with our story tellers and will be thoroughly enjoying this show!!! This Paresh Rawal starrer play was enacted for the 4th time in Kolkata at Vidyamandir auditorium on February 10th.

Rajatava Dutta

The theater production compels you to question the customs which you have followed till date. This is the story of an atheist, Krishanlal Mehta who owned an antique store. He used to sell various worthless items at exorbitant prices by adding a religious angle to them, which always was untrue (a piece of long cloth was sold by him to someone as Draupadi’s sari). This shrewd business man is only one facet of his personality as otherwise he is a responsible and caring husband, a true friend and a man who only went by logic.

Krishan vs Kanhaiya

His life turned topsy-turvy when his shop was destroyed in an earthquake and his insurance claim was declined. It was said that earthquake is an act of God and insurance claims can be approved only for man-made disasters. Infuriated by this, he files a case in the court against God. The plea was: If his shop was destroyed by God, either he or any of his representatives like the temples or the religious organizations must compensate for the loss but if it is proven that there is no existence of God the insurance company is accountable to pay him the money.

Read the complete review of Paresh Rawal's play Krishan vs Kanhaiya on WBRi.



'TENI DA' Returns (Bengali Theatre)

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Good News for all the fans of Teni da and Narayan Gangopadhyay. Oikyo Natyo Goshti is bringing back the charm of Teni da to the people of Calcutta. 


Drama Review: Nandikar's Madhabi - 28th National Theater Festival

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

Nandikar's Madhabi Bengali Drama (Bangla Natok)

December 27, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Here we have a woman who is wronged, scorned, abused and yet there’s no hellfire to scorch her tormenters. We’re only left with a subdued sense of victory as Madhabi emerges triumphant, after what seems like ages of continuous torture. Willful submission to a father’s charitable wishes, a lover’s dutiful words and cursed by what was supposedly her boon, leads protagonist to a journey against her Self – till she finally manages to find her stand.

We’re talking about ‘Madhabi’, a masterpiece by Bhisham Sahni, adapted to Bangla by Swatilekha Sengupta, also the director of this poignant tale of a woman suffering at the hands of shallow pride, hollow duties and hypocritical values.



Drama Review: Archeekaal –Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in the Kashmir Valley: Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival Kolkata

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

December 27, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): Amidst reports of lessened militancy and greater number of tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir in the recent past, theatrical representations of the truth are still seeking to find an answer to pertinent issues that plague the socio-cultural-economic and political scenario in the valley of dreams.

One such dramatic representation is ‘Archeekaal’, put up in the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, as a part of Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival on December 24, 2011.

Roshan Art Center (Kashmir) - Drama Archeekaal Written by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Directed By Reshi Rashid

Based on the script authored by Syed Yaqoob Dilkash and supported by Roshan Art center, the director, Mr.Reshi Rashid has attempted a factual portrayal of Kashmir, as it stands today. Viewing at the condition of the state from all important perspectives, the play also explores the causes of the never-ending strife, threatening to push the ‘Heaven on Earth’ as far back in times, as possible.



Drama Review: Mumunur Rashid's RARANG - Long Live the Battle Cry for Freedom! (Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival)

[jpg image: Bangla natok Rarang]

[jpg image: Bangla natok Rarang]

[jpg image: Bangla natok Rarang]

[jpg image: Bangla natok Rarang]

December 24, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations):The directorial genius of Mamunur Rashid and his insights on the Santal Revolt in Northern Bangladesh comes out most clearly in the critically acclaimed stage production by Aranyak, ‘Rarang’ or the Battle Cry.

On 21 December, 2011, the theater-happy crowd of Kolkata was treated with yet another enthralling edition of this stage act at the Academy of Fine Arts, put up as a part of the Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival.

Enacted for more than a 100th time in a row, Rarang is a heart-wrenching depiction of the oppression that the Santals of Vimpur (a village in Naogaon) were put through – by the ruling Bengalis in 1947, with allusions to the Santal Revolt of 1855 during British Raj.

Inspired by the real life story of Alfred Shoren, the tribal leader who set an example of brave rebellion against the feudalism and racism, the play is enriched by the performances of veteran stage actors, like Tomalika Karmaker and Chanchal Chowdhury, apart from a memorable stint by the director himself.

Read the complete Bengali drama (Bangla Natok) review at WBRi.



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