Mini-review – Mahabharatha – Sadler’s Wells

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One sentence review: “It was so almost there!”

Moment of unintentional irony: Draupadi singing, “When will this end? When will this end? It ends now …” (making me slap J’s arm with joy that our freedom is near).

This did not hit the baddicle of Northwest Lyric Opera‘s Carmen – though the technical difficulties with the mikes, leading to CRACKLE CRACKLE CRACKLE as people walked across stage and then NOTHING as people actually spoke their lines – did bring back certain memories. But there was a lot of dancing and good stagecraft that had me very caught up in what was going on, borrowin from Kathak dance with, er, a bit of Westernization.

And then … well, there were the bits when people were singing. It was like Disney musicals (or for me, Andrew Lloyd Weber), where the music is pappy blandum and the lyrics are … I don’t know, cardboard. “Where is the man I love?” sang Draupadi FOUR TIMES as she walked across the stage. I could only assume he was hiding from her, as I, sitting in my balcony seats, wished I could do. And if Krishna was a god, why was he always picking up crap from the stage? That’s for menials, not supernatural beings; he should have just been able to wave his arms and make it disappear (or at least not been spotlit while being helpful).

At an rate: not exactly “three hours of my life I’ll never get back,” but certainly money poorly spent. And our opinion seemed widely shared by the audience members upon whom we eavesdropped after the show. Please, folks, give this one a pass. It’s pretty much sold out anyway and with luck it will die a natural death.

(This review is for a performance that took lace on April 25, 2007. The review is carried over from a previous blog.)

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