Being part of a live musical and performing on stage every day is no small task. Actor Hussain Kuwajerwala, who plays Zangoora, a gypsy prince, in the city’s longest running musical by that name, shares some of the highlights and challenges he has faced in the last 1000 shows. “I never thought that the show would run for so long when we began,” he admits.
The 35-year-old actor admits that the journey has been challenging. “In one of the shows, I ended up slapping (co-star) Gauhar Khan hard on stage,” he confesses. “It was a mistake. I didn’t realise she was standing behind me before the act. But she was spontaneous enough to make it seem like a part of the script,” he explains.
Hussain says he gets the maximum cheers from the audience when he removes his shirt on stage. “But it is very hard to maintain the six packs. If you are acting in a movie, you can relax after the shoot. But in a live show, one is perpetually on a diet,” he says.
But how did he get rid of his doubts regarding taking up the show? “Would people be willing to buy a ticket worth R1,000 for a musical when they can watch a new film for less than half the price — that was the question on my mind. But if we have completed 1000 shows, we must be doing something right,” he says.
Apart from her jhatkas and matkas in the Ishaqzaade song Jhalla, actor Gauhar Khan has been quite oblivious to the film scene lately. One reason is that she has been performing live at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon, for the last two-and-half years. Playing the role of Laachi — a feisty banjaran in the show, Khan says that she has no regrets about taking on the role or having to shuttle between Mumbai and Gurgaon every week.
The actor believes that the show has helped hone her acting skills. “Performing on stage has helped me become a better actor and hence will help me get better roles,” says Khan. But doesn’t it get monotonous to play the same character every day? “That would be the case even if I was acting in a film or a TV show, where I have to play the same character for many months,” she explains. “In fact, performing on stage is full of challenges. Once a dancer pulled off my wig by mistake. I was totally stunned, but had to carry on my scene with the same intensity,” she says.