I have some very important posts about my babies pending. But tonight I need to write about moi.
I love acting. Theatre is one of my bigger loves. You know how some people can't watch movies or eat in restaurants alone...I can, but not too happily. A play or a concert however, is something else altogether. I can watch a play alone and I have on many, many occasions...and that too, very happily. I used to hate missing out on a good play in Bangalore and the lack of company never deterred me from missing something really good. I haven't had a chance to catch too many plays here In Calcutta, much less act...but all that is going to change tomorrow.
Tomorrow I act in my FIRST play in Calcutta. I've been a part of a couple of book readings, in English as well as Bengali; I've MCed a couple of events and I've even sung and danced before an audience. But tomorrow will be the first time I will be donning the grease-paint, putting on another person's skin and morphing into someone else, albeit for a few hours only, here in aamaader Kolkata.
The last time was Bombay, more than six years ago and what a fabulous time I had then...the show was spectacular and went on for the longest time. It was a musical too and with a very reputed and respected name as well, so I was a really happy chicca that one year in Bombay.
You know what, actually, this won't be my first time in a play. Just last October, as part of the evening entertainment of our neighbourhood Durga Puja, I acted in a Bengali play. So I guess technically that was my stage debut.
But heck! Tomorrow is my ENGLISH play stage debut and in G. D. Birla Sabhaghar, no less...not some rickety old, mangy excuse for a stage made by hastily nailing together a few rotting planks.
The name of the play is "Lend Me a Tenor" by Ken Ludwig. It's an out-and-out comedy, full of slap-stick humour, ribald jokes, innuendos and risque business. My goodness! My first adult play! Tee hee! "I feel like a fancy French tart!" No, no!! That's just one of my lines in the play! And no! That is not who my character is! I actually play a lady of great social standing; one who is supposed to be a paradigm of elegance and culture. Her name is Julia Levrett and she is Chairperson of the Opera Guild...hence, the elegance and culture. However, she is a bit OTT, has dramatic flair and lives her life as if in an opera. So you see, dear friends and readers, she's quite like the dear, loony aunt who makes family get-togethers fun!
I am most kicked about my costume! For the first time ever in my life, I will be wearing a GOWN! And let me tell you, I was worried, frightened, shitting bricks and having nightmares about the final outcome! See, the other three women in the play are slim and sexy. In fact, two of them can teach Kareena Kapoor a thing or two about being a natural size zero and still looking luscious. The director made absolutely no bones at all about the fact that he thought I was fat...he actually asked me to lose weight and he told the costume designer at least a couple of times, that "Julia is fat!" Anyways, let's not dwell upon those instances where murder and not the play were top-most on my mind, but suffice it to say that I was having mini heart attacks wondering what I was going to be trussed up in! I knew the other three women were going to carry off their gowns and dresses like divas. I was worried that I'd look like a sack of potatoes -- a very, very fancy sack of potatoes, a silken sack of potatoes, but a sack of potatoes nevertheless! However, the designer has done a brilliant job! I am wearing a stunning off-shoulder and totally backless concoction, spun out of black lace and moss-green silk. I don't remember wearing anything so sexy and daring in my adult life...and no, the secret somethings that were a part of my honeymoon definitely don't count.
It’s not a great play, guys. It’s neither brilliant, nor thought-provoking. It’s neither intellectual nor stimulating. It’s a mindless piece of farce that I hope will entertain and have people chuckling, laughing out loud and guffawing snortily. If the audience leaves smiling and doesn’t get down to dissecting the unrealities of it…then great! We'll have achieved what we set out to do and I for one, will be one happy actor!
And right now, I'm all excited. Of course I'm all tense and traumatic, diva and dramatic, but the bottom-line is that my head is spinning and I'm goose-prickly all over.
The shows are tomorrow and day-after. Most of my friends are coming on Wednesday. Now MIM, parents, in-laws (incl. BIL-ly Boy and wife) as well as a dear aunt-in-law, are also coming then.
I hope I can get some sleep, because God knows I need it.
If nothing else, I need the butterflies in my stomach to stop fluttering about. For a while at least.
Pray for me, please! Won't you?
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