Zangoora: A Bollywood musical extravaganza

Billed as the largest Bollywood musical extravaganza, Zangoora — The Gypsy Price is one of the first musicals to be staged in India along the lines of musicals staged abroad. Since it’s being staged at the Nautanki Mahal at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon, I had to go watch it. My only worry was that the husband might balk at the prices — the extravaganza doesn’t come cheap, with prices ranging from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 6,500 — as he’s not into musicals and theater, but he agreed without batting an eye!

Zangoora - the gypsy prince

The Nautanki Mahal is done up in old-world style. It follows a predominantly red and gold color scheme, evoking the grandeur of a bygone era, with beautiful, huge chandeliers dominating the central dome in the waiting area, throne-like chairs scattered around, a bar at both ends of the waiting area, and walls painted to look give an inlay effect.

Photography wasn’t allowed inside the theater, while the play was going on, though I did get a shot of the stage before the play began. 😉

The story itself is simple. The play opens with the Prince Rudra’s first birthday celebrations, during the course of which the king declares that he will not charge taxes during the year, and asks his kingdom’s three chieftains to make the same declaration in their provinces. The three — Thodamal, Daulat Rai and Zohravar — are none too pleased with this decision, and hatch a plot to wipe out the king and his family.

Opening scene: elephant throne

Prince Rudra, however, is saved, and ends up with a gypsy caravan, where he is brought up as Zangoora (Hussain Kuwajerwalla), the leader of the gypsies, who sets the stage on fire with his gypsy dancing partner Laachi (Gauahar Khan). Meanwhile, Zohravar (Sadanand Patil) takes over the throne and launches his reign of terror on Shaktisheela. Of course, since this is a Bollywood musical, the story has to end well, with good winning vs. evil and Zangoora, a.k.a. Prince Rudra, winning back his rightful place on the throne as well as his lady love, Sonali (Kashmira Irani).

The dancing gypsies outside their caravan

A typical Bollywood plot, you say, whose chances at the box office may not be that great? But hey! This is live…and it’s magic!

Right from the opening scene, where you have the king and queen holding court on the back of an elephant, to the electrifying, high-energy dances, the play keeps you captivated and begging for more! The cable work is excellent, reminiscent of a Broadway musical, as actors fly through the air, spin cartwheels, fly into a dream sequence, or come onstage, suspended upside-down, to deliver prophesies to Zohravar. The sets and props are excellent, breathing life into the different sets — be it the forest, the gypsy caravan, or the throne room. One scene in particular, which is set underwater, is breathtaking. LED screens and special effects are used to show fishes and plants, while two mermaids swim through the water suspended on cables. Pure magic!

Celeberating Zangoora's coronation

If you’re around Delhi/NCR, this musical should be on your must-watch list. It’s slated to go on until December, so you have plenty of time to catch it!

Still need some convincing? Check out this sneak preview of the musical. Note: this is a shot from a promo night, so it doesn’t showcase all the scenic elements.

Liked what you saw?

Images from Reuters blogs.

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  2. I’ve not been to the theatre in ages – I just take it for granted that it’s there. This looks like a fabulous show, there’s nothing quite like watching something like this live, I love the typical Bolywood themes.

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  4. My daughter was conceived because of a Bollywood Musical we saw when our son was 10 weeks old. We almost named her Shakalaka Baby!

    I really want to learn to dance like them….Love their outfits!

    • That would have been a unique name indeed – Shakalaka Baby! It’s got a ring to it, eh? The gyms here do quite a few Bollywood classes – great way to learn to dance like that and burn off the calories. Maybe you can look around at gyms in your area that do something similar?

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  6. My wife and I were in Gurgaon January 7-9 2011 for a BITS Pilani Alumni Global Meet, and saw this show, as a part of the Global Meet programme. It was awesome. I had never seen such an extravaganza with so many good dancers.

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  8. It’s Lovely show,i come down to delhi for some business purpose then i search on wiki i herd from’s too good, i visited first time that kind of show in my life,i had good Experience want to suggest to Movie liker must see.

  9. wow.osum dresses osum dancers osum story…….truly luved it <3 amazing….!!!!!!!i wnderd if anythng like this in INDIA……………!!!!!

  10. ohh wowo wat an amazing perfromances on live stage.i truly loved it….unbelievable concept,execution,saga of entertainment.must watch show!!!India has got TALENT baby!!!!

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