‘Tis the season to make lists! As we rewind the year gone by, let’s take a look at the live productions that impressed us in 2018. With extravagant sets, gorgeous costumes, and mesmerizing performances, these productions gave us plenty of reasons to leave the comfort of our homes and head to catch them live in all their glory. There were international productions, Indian adaptations of popular western productions, and our very own original plays that garnered a lot of attention in the media. Here are the top 10 that were an absolute must-watch. Let’s see if you managed to catch them all.
The Disney classic was recreated for the Indian stage earlier this year and ran to superhit shows in Mumbai and Delhi. It was the musical of the season and received raving reviews by every man, woman, and child who saw the mesmerizing spectacle. Now, Season 2 of this world-class production hits the stage later this month. So if you missed it the first time, here’s your chance to watch it live. Need more reasons to watch Disney’s Aladdin? We’ll give you 10!
The Sound of Music
We have seen this movie countless times but every single time that we watch it again, it feels unique and new. And that’s exactly what Raell Padamsee had in mind when she recreated the classic for the stage earlier this year. Featuring a cast of famous actors like Meher Mistry, Arunoday Singh, and Kunal Vijayakar, the play also brought together underprivileged kids from various schools and NGOs to be a part of the live show. Read how it all went down in our review here.
This was indeed our year to explore new art forms and expand our cultural acumen. Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet made its way to India earlier in the year, when Royal Russian Ballet, along with Navrasa Duende, presented this stunning spectacle across four cities. The mesmerizing performance was a perfect treat for the senses with stunning sets and the soothing music that came along with it. Read our full review of the exquisite show here.
Among some of the greatest Marathi plays that premiered this year, this one was an instant favorite among the masses as it starred popular actor Sumeet Raghavan in the lead role. It was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play and was produced by Zee Marathi for the stage. Hamlet by itself is a heart-wrenching tragedy and it was recreated beautifully for the Marathi audience with quality writing, engaging entertainment, and humbling performances. Read our full review here!
This year, Aditya Birla Group‘s theatre initiative Aadyam had fewer but better productions and this unique entertainer was a thoroughly enjoyable and contemporary spin on musical theatre. Calling itself the country’s first ever reality show musical, the spectacle featured a packed album of original tracks composed by Clinton Cerejo. It had the original excitement and charm of musicals along with an amusing millennial take on theatre. Read the full review here!
One of Aadyam’s earliest productions of the year, Yuki Ellias and Sneh Sapru’s play used magical realism to transport the audiences into a world beyond our own. A fascinating narration of Kalpana Chawla’s space odyssey, the play impressed with its unique story and sincere performances. Read the full review here!
Another Marathi production that ran to houseful shows was this recreation of one of the most famous ‘bal nataks’ in the Marathi theatre industry. Directed by Chinmay Manglekar and produced by the renowned Advait Theatres, the play was an instant hit among people from all age groups because of its funny and enchanting story that transported you into a magical world. The best part about it was that it even made you forget about your worries for a little while. Read the full review here!
Aurat! Aurat!! Aurat!!!
Motley Theatre first touched upon Ismat Chughtai’s stories with the narrative play, Ismat Apa Ke Naam. This was Part 3 of the play series that narrated the life of the writer herself, with dramatic interpretations of important instances. It brought to life the writer’s works and her many achievements, with a special focus on her unabashedly cool persona. Read the full review here!
No year in theatre is complete without Naseeruddin Shah taking to the stage for another spellbinding production. Motley Theatre’s adaptation of Florian Zeller’s play was staged last month with the actor in a prominent role alongside the equally talented Ratna Pathak Shah and other popular theatre actors. Funny, entertaining, and captivating, The Truth is a class act that brings Naseer back to his home at Prithvi Theatre where he never fails to impress. Read the full review here.
Cirque Du Soleil
There aren’t many places we can watch high-level acrobatics in India. So to give us a taste of international standards of acrobatic action, live music, comedy, and drama, the Canadian theatrical company came to Mumbai and Delhi to premiere its 43rd production, ‘BAZZAR’. If you missed this top-notch production the first time, you can catch it in all its glory once again at the capital later this month. Here are 10 more reasons why you should watch it live.
The year is not over yet! Before 2018 ends, catch yet another fascinating show with this thrilling Marathi adaptation of a Hitchcock classic on stage in A Perfect Murder. Read more about the play here.