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Home / Mumbai News / Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Wouldn’t it be lovely?

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Wouldn’t it be lovely?

“Kira reminds me so much of my mum, Pearl Padamsee,” said producer Raell Padamsee about the lead actress in her soon-to-open production of My Fair Lady

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2019 00:38 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Kira Narayanan and Varun Narayan as Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins.
Kira Narayanan and Varun Narayan as Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins.

“Kira reminds me so much of my mum, Pearl Padamsee,” said producer Raell Padamsee about the lead actress in her soon-to-open production of My Fair Lady. She was referring to Kira Narayanan, the actress who will be essaying the role of Eliza Doolittle in the iconic musical, directed by Karla Singh, which premieres early next month. “She’s a bundle of creative fire! Every time I see her perform, I think of mum,” said Raell in response to our query about who she thought would have made a great Eliza from her parent’s generation. With a cast of over 100 professional singers, dancers, actors integrated with young adults from marginalised or challenged backgrounds, the musical will be staged at the Jamshed Bhabha auditorium and promises all the razzmatazz expected from a Padamsee offering: State-of-the art production values, extravagant sets, meticulously designed period costumes and magnificent props, according to the consummate theatre veteran and daughter of English theatre’s iconic couple, the late Alyque and Pearl Padamsee. But, it is her lead pair that has Raell going into raptures. “Both Kira and Varun Narayan, who plays Professor Higgins, have essayed major roles in mega Disney Productions like Aladdin and The Beauty and the Beast in the past. They’ve got the required accents down pat,” she says. “Kira at first with the cockney and then the straight-up British; and Varun with his gorgeous baritone, is right on the button too. I don’t think I could have got a better Professor Higgins.” By the way, what about your dad, Alyque, we prompt, wouldn’t he have made the perfect pedantic professor Higgins who can turn even the most awkward wall flower into a star? “Haha, yes,” says a delighted Raell. “I think that was his raison d’etre.”


Girls just want to have fun, they say, and loud girls just want to have louder fun. Or, so it appears, when every Tuesday afternoon, a set of some of the city’s high-profile ladies who lunch (and munch), descend on this luxury multiplex in an upmarket mall, for their weekly movie and coffee date. “They hoot loudly at the dialogues, laugh, clap, exchange pleasantries between themselves and munch on popcorn and other snacks, at the top of their voices, with no consideration at all for their fellow members in the audience,” said an onlooker, who had the misfortune of sharing a movie experience with the formidable bunch recently. “From carrying on long conversations across aisles, to commenting about the films on screen, they are a riot and unstoppable; not in the least concerned about the dirty looks and polite requests they receive from others in the auditorium,” she said. And, a measure of the impact their regular visits have is that the group has even won itself a moniker. “They’re known to the staff and other frequenters to the venue simply as ‘The Hurricane’,” said the onlooker. “The last time I visited the multiplex, I was informed by an usher that I was lucky as the ‘Hurricane’ had just departed — in all its glory,” said the source.

The mind boggles.

Tweet Talk

Two major cities: One is drenched, the other’s parched. In times of such uncertainty, Mumbai can prepare itself by collecting rainwater for later use. It’s a potent solution to the water crisis we are moving towards

-- Tweeted by Suresh Raina


Abhishake Sangwan (co-founder, Kutir), Roger Federer, and chef Rohit Ghai
Abhishake Sangwan (co-founder, Kutir), Roger Federer, and chef Rohit Ghai

We had written about London’s Indian restaurant scene witnessing an onslaught of Indian movers and shakers this past month, during the Cricket World Cup mania; from lunches at Annabelle’s (apparently, thanks to its influx of wall-to-wall Indian socialites, London’s once exclusive, members-only club is now being called ‘Ana-Bens’ by those in the know). Now, word comes in that Jamavar’s former Chef, Rohit Ghai, who after winning a Michelin star for the Mayfair establishment, and had left to open his own restaurant Kutir, famous for its ‘truffle khichdi,’ in Chelsea had his own celebrity guest this week, and what’s more, it was not an Indian celebrity but Mr GOAT himself — the eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who stopped in between games for a meal at Kutir this week. “I’ve been fortunate enough to cook for a few celebrities over the years, but I must admit, we were all a bit star-struck by Roger Federer coming to the restaurant,” said an over the moon chef patron Ghai, about his celebrated client.” Roger was a great guest — he ate small plates of scallops-aubergine, aloo tikki, chicken chops, sea bass kokum, jackfruit kofta, and lamb shanks really well and seemed to leave really happy!” he gushed.

The lunch of champions.