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30 Jan

Grease Lightening…don’t miss it!

Watching Grease Lightening at the Arts Council in Karachi delighted me and simultaneously troubled me. While it was magnificent to see the depth of talent – from Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Omar, Ahmad Ali and the very young Parishae Adnan (Amir and Huma Adnan’s talented daughter) – it was, in equal parts, frustrating to witness the state of the auditorium, the condition of the stage and the overall lack of facilities. The stage does absolutely no justice to the months of hard work and commitment that Nida Butt and her team put into each of their productions.

Grease

Having seen Singing in the Rain in London (where it actually rained on stage) amongst other stage productions abroad and then seeing all the glamorous international award ceremonies sparkle and shine with advanced technology (did you see Pink’s act at the 56th Grammys this week?), it saddened me to see the state our theatre is in. Talking to Nida, she shared that there was no stage depth and that sets had to be designed in a way that they would fold and double, manually. Ideally theatrical stages have the depth to incorporate several sliding scenes. Lahore had a better stage, she added, but then they couldn’t afford to travel to Lahore without a sponsor because people there wouldn’t pay Rs2000 for a ticket. They prefer to be ‘invited’ in Lahore, if you know what I mean.

But enough of the trials and tribulations of putting up a stage play. There’s so much to celebrate about it too…

Sanam Saeed is undoubtedly the biggest star amongst the entire cast; she is a natural when it comes to song, dance and elocution and she absolutely nails Rizzo. I can’t imagine a Nida Butt production without Sanam in the cast. Then, though Ayesha Omar has received flak for her performance, I have to say that Sandy’s original role – in the movie – is subdued and, well, almost dull. And Sandy comes into her own and shines when she turns the groove on in the last scene. I feel Ayesha did justice to her role. Ahmed Ali as the leather-clad ‘tough’ but actually sweet Danny was brilliant. To find a John Travolta look alike who could sing, dance and act…what were the chances? Only Nida could unearth this talent. And while most of the cast delivered a stellar performance, I have to say that Parishae Adnan nailed it as Patty and this debutant definitely has a career on stage if she decides to pursue it.

Unfortunately, I lost the brochure and don’t remember all the names but I do recall the magnificent rendition of ‘Freddy, My Love’ by Marty and all the fabulous dance numbers that were executed to a T. Kinickie was very good too. So if you haven’t seen it already, go now! There are still 4 nights left of the show. And I do hope they manage to take it to Lahore.

Leaving you with some images of the cast and crew, off duty at a Sunday brunch hosted by Huma and Amir Adnan …

All of grease

Kids will be kids, unwinding over a match of volleyball

Kids will be kids, unwinding over a match of volleyball

Sandy soaking up the sunlight

Sandy soaking up the sunlight

Aamna Ayesha Sanam Huma

The Haute Team