One of the highlights of day one of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was acclaimed theatre group Ekjute’s staging of the Hindi musical Salaam... 1950’s Ke Naam.
The extravagant production, with a cast of 40 members, elaborate backdrops and costumes designed by the Oscar-winning Bhanu Athaiya, centered on a love story, and paid tribute to the black-and-white era of Hindi cinema, particularly the ’40s and ’50s.
The play was directed by Nadira Babbar, and has been staged 50 times across India and in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Dubai.
“I am delighted to stage this play at the festival,” said Babbar. “I have a lot of love and respect for the fest, which gets bigger and better each year. It makes my chest swell with pride that this festival, with its massive scale and representation of so many art forms, is happening in my city, Mumbai.”
The joyous play, with its melodious songs and lively dance sequences, was created with the aim of paying tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema, Babbar added. “It also celebrates the innocence, charm and simplicity of Hindi cinema of that era, and the beautiful songs, which one likes to sing even today.”
Packed with action, humour and performances by acclaimed actors such as Juhi Babbar Soni and Ankur Parekh, the play made the audience smile, laugh, tap their feet and sing along.
“Even though it is set in olden times, it is liked equally by the younger generation, as it is very entertaining,” Babbar said.