By Muttahir Ahmed Khan

The Grease in Town

Besides other art and theatre events in the city, this week, one of the most throbbing phenomena is the theatric venture “Grease – the musical” being staged, these days, at Karachi Arts Council, by Made for Stage Production with support from Theatrical Rights Worldwide. The founder of MAD School and Director Nida Butt’s adaptation of Grease is the first licensed production of the musical in Pakistan and she hopes “It’s going to be colourful, loud, fun and boisterous. It will be a trip down memory lane and we will not disappoint you.” Previously, this group has presented the award winning “Karachi - The Musical”, “Chicago”, “Mamma Mia”, “Carnage and the Pillowman”. The organisation’s act of getting license before proceeding further is being appreciated by the art and theatre circles and intellectuals.

This first presentation in the country of the play based on the well-appreciated classic movie of 1978, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is on stage, now, with great expectations, after an intense three months of non-stop rehearsals.  Starring Ahmed Ali as Danny Zuko, Ayesha Omar as Sandy, Mustafa Changezi as Kenickie and Sanam Saeed as Rizzo, along with an ensemble cast of well-known faces and blooming artists is attracting audience. Here, it is desirable to mention that the Grease film had been nominated for one Oscar and five Golden Globe awards and had won two peoples' Choice awards. The original Grease play at Broadway had been nominated for seven Tony awards and had won two Drama Desk awards and a Theater World award.

Grease is a great masterpiece that still haunts the minds and souls of many people in Pakistan and many still talk about the hugely successful 1978 hit and it is regarded as a classic success. Moreover, it enjoys the privilege of being the No. 1 highest-grossing musical to date. Grease has also had a an impressive stage history with the original Broadway production breaking records with a run of 3,338 performances, and it remains Broadway's 14th longest running show to date.

The play depicts high-school teenage shenanigans, transcending the 1950s era with a timeless musical appeal, all too vivid through live music and dance.

Anti Piracy Theatre & Flash Mobs Campaign

The Thespianz Theater, in collaborations with Oxford University Press, last week, initiated Anti Piracy Theatre & Flash Mobs Campaign in Pakistan, at Park Towers and Arts Council Karachi. The Flash Mob and Theater Play “Chulbuk Chori” wass directed by Faisal Malik and the associate director was Nouman Mehmood.

The First Performance was staged at Arts Council of Pakistan, on Saturday, in front of 1300 students from different schools and colleges of the city. The audience enjoyed every moment and dialogue of the theatre play. The proceedings were enjoyed by the parents of the students, teachers, journalists and civil society memebers.

 

Commenting on the event, the Play Director Faisal Malik and OUP Representative informed to the press that the play “Chulbuk Chori” is purely based on Anti Book Piracy in Pakistan in entertaining and dancing mood. The Play is going to Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore and will continue performance in Karachi Literature Festival, Children Literature Festival all over Pakistan.”

 

NAPA for Collaborative Works

As the world is rapidly shrinking into a global village, the cultural and art ventures are advancing beyond the borders to share the art of humanity and its universality. Keeping in view this inevitable development on the socio-cultural horizon of the globe, National Academy of Performing Arts’ Music Faculty and Alumni led by its Head of the Music Department Mr. Nafees Ahmed has collaborated with US Consulate in Karachi for music programs with the US Musicians visiting Karachi from time to time.

According to the management of the NAPA, in the first quarter of the current year US Consulate Karachi offered to NAPA funding for a three year partnership in Music with any University in USA and they accepted the offer. “An advertisement was placed in US newspapers and we received proposals from three different Universities. The proposal fromThe Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin received through The South Asia Institute (SAI) at the University of Texas at Austin was found to be the best by the NAPA management and accordingly conveyed to the US Consulate”, said Mr Arshad Mahmud. The partnership was approved in July 2013 by the US State Department through a Notification reference SPK-330-13CA50.

 The Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs addressing both the practical and theoretical disciplines of music and performance. It has several centers of excellence.

 NAPA is a Performing Arts Academy teaching the youth of the country Theatre Arts and Music through a strong curriculum administered by some of the best practitioners in the field of Theatre Arts and Music. (muttahir_khan@hotmail.com)