Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Merchants of Bollywood
Written and directed by Toby Gough
Songs composed by Salim-Sulaiman
Starring Carol Furtado, Chander Khanna, Satwinder Singh Jaspal, and Dipender Singh
Sony Centre, Nov. 4 to 14, 2010
It’s dance that’s at the heart of the entertaining musical The Merchants of Bollywood. As in Bollywood films, production number follows production number at a dizzying pace.
The show was written and directed by London-based Toby Gough, but the creative team is pure Bollywood – choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, and composers Salim and Sulaiman Merchant. They are the real Merchants of Bollywood.
The show is inspired by the true story of the show’s choreographer. Her grandfather Shri Hiralal was a famous Bollywood choreographer. When Vaibhavi wanted to follow her star to Bollywood, her grandfather disapproved. Their generational conflict is the flashpoint of the story.
One of the glories of Vaibhavi’s choreography is the different styles that exist within Bollywood dance. Embedded in the story is the history of Bollywood, and the dances cut across the decades.
The Merchants of Bollywood is a two and a half hour orgy of non-stop dance.
The Merchants of Bollywood continues at the Sony Centre until Nov. 14.