|Natraj Kumar & Dancers|
October 2, 2019 is the 150th birth anniversary of the man born with the first name Mohandas but whom the world now remembers as Mahatma (“venerable”) Gandhi. To honor this occasion, the nation’s largest Indian theatre company, Naatak, is producing a world-premiere play, Gandhi, written and directed by the company’s founder and artistic director, Sujit Saraf. Joining him in this monumental undertaking that covers the final sixty years of the one many consider the “Father of the Nation” of India is a cast of thirty-four – most from Silicon Valley’s high tech community – who play over sixty-five differently named parts as well as grouped roles ranging from Londoners to South African traders to Indian peasants and mill workers. The result – told in a mixture of Hindi, English, and Gujarati with English supertitles – is much like a live documentary, packed with so many events, news headlines, and people (both famous and unfamiliar) to at times become such a swirl of facts and figures that any one detail is difficult to remember a few minutes later. But the power of this theatrical biography is not particularly in its myriad of parts but in its gestalt, in an overall new understanding of this incredible man. And in that regard, Naatak’s Gandhi more than achieves its purpose.
For my full review, please proceed to Talkin’ Broadway: https://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/regional/sanjose/sj178.html.
Rating: 3.5 E
Gandhi continues through October 6, 2019, playing at Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, California. Tickets are available online at www.nataak.com or by calling 408-499-5692.
Photo Credit: Sharma Podila & Ritendra Datta
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