An other-worldly experience

Making the nether world come alive -- The cast and crew of the musical  

As a firm believer about afterlife, the musical Ghost addressed theatre director Leila Alvares’ personal spiritual beliefs, encouraging her to bring to stage this nether-worldly love story. “Honestly, Ghost wasn’t my first choice this year, I wanted to direct Mamma Mia, for which the rights are still unavailable. So when my distributor in New York suggested Ghost, I checked it out and loved the music. The script spoke to me at and swept away any doubts that crept in about pulling off this story,” explains Leila.

Given the popularity of the film, there are accompanying challenges to making it exciting. “Every time I produce a musical, which has been based on a famous movie like Grease, Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof, I have to be more careful ,” says Leila, adding, “ We have to work with budgets and stage restrictions in our auditoriums, which do not lend themselves to rotating, raising or lowering sets. So don't expect too much in terms of nether-worldly stuff, but do look forward to the music, songs and the actual story, which I have tweaked.”

The actors have been cast to reflect the director’s connect with the script. “I knew that I wanted Rahael Thomas to play the lead, but due to work restrictions he could not make it to the evening rehearsals. So I have been taking the three main characters Priya Mendens, Mana Santhanam and Karan Machado for morning rehearsals,” says Leila, adding, “The female lead, Mana, came in just to sing in the choir, but when I met her, I immediately felt she would be more suitable for the lead. And then the universe gave me just that, because the next day theyounger lead who I had initially confirmed, backed out.”

Between seasoned actors Arvind Kasthuri, Prem Koshy and Tuffy, Leila knows that a large chunk of her job is done when the casting is accurate. “Fortunately, I seem to get the actors right most of the time,” she says. The rehearsals used to start at 8.45 a.m. and often stretched till 11 p.m.

Turning back, looking ahead, right in the middle of another grand musical production, Leila keeps at her calling year after year. “I do it for the love of bringing the various elements of a musical together. I like hearing that the production touched the lives of the audience,” says Leila.

Ghost, directed by Leila Alvares, music by Vivek Menzel & Bryden Lewis of Slain, dance directed by Alisha D’Souza, Lionel DeNazareth, Lucien Charanghat and Akshay Tiwari will be staged at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on August 29 at 7.30 pm and August 30 at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets priced at Rs.499 and Rs 300 are available at Supermarket (Brigade Rd), Market Basket (Fraser Town) and Kavitha (9844169903) and online on Proceeds from the show will go towards charity.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 1:30:39 AM |

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