This true-blue Bollywood musical is Kishore Kumar all the way! Packed with the retro look in psychedelic colours, over-the-top props and bling, "Jhumroo" tells the story of a simpleton and his tryst with love, emotions and music but what makes it all the more interesting is when the audiences sing and sway with the classic melodies of the legendary singer.
The experience is close to watching a movie live, in action. And true to its tagline, "Jhoomo! Naacho! Gao!", the musical leaves the audience doing just that.
The grand, 840-seater Nautanki Mahal at the entertainment destination Kingdom of Dreams, gives "Jhumroo" every flexibility to incorporate elaborate props, including gliders and the frame of a bike in the air, stunning graphics, and a state-of-the-art stage with rotatory floor to make the musical larger-than-life.
"Jhumroo" narrates the tale of Bholenath Tripathi aka Bhola, an innocent boy, who can't sing, but dreams of being a singing idol, and win the love of his life, his colleague Meena.
Popular TV actor Gaurav Gera excels as Bhola. "Jhumroo" gives him a chance to break free of the image of geeky Nandu of "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin", as he acts, dances and sings into the hearts of the viewers with ease, confidence and unbeatable energy.
"Remix" girl Shweta Gulati does her bit as simple, sweet Meena, well too. She suits her character and her charming smile, with a pinch of shyness, adds to the beauty of the show.
The aerial acts in the show were smooth and noteworthy.
Getting up during the show may not be allowed, but that doesn't stop the audience members to sing and sway with classic Kishore Kumar numbers like "Om shanti om", "Pag ghungroo", "Saamne ye kaun aaya", "Mere saamnewali khidki", "Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si", "Hawa ke saath saath" and "Jahaan teri ye nazar hai".
The musical ended with the foot-tapping "Eena meena deeka", and left the audience cheering, whistling, twisting and asking for more!
What was missing was the evergreen number "Main hoon jhoom jhoom jhoom jhoom Jhumroo", but that was compensated by "Jhumroo", an original title track for the musical.
What's a winner in the show is the spirit of Kishore Kumar. It's not just a key character in the show, but forms the musical's soul as well.
Viewers get a taste of Kishore da with the "Baangdu" and "Gadhau" intact, and with the 19 tracks that have been creatively packed into the two-and-a-half hour long show, made in a "tight" budget of Rs.100 million with over 100 artists.
"Tight" because the first musical, "Zangoora: The Gypsy Prince" cost Rs.25 million by the Great Indian Nautanki Company, a joint venture between Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and Apra Group.
Nevertheless, the grandeur, costumes, set up, overall look and entertainment hasn't been compromised on one bit.
With choreography by Ashley Lobo and Pankaj Guglani, dialogues by Darshan Jariwalla, music direction by Raju Singh, sets by Omung Kumar, costumes by Manish Arora, hair and make-up by Ambika Pillai and direction by Vikranth Pawar, the show boasts of best creative names.
What made "Jhumroo" stand out from "Zangoora: The Gypsy Prince" was the increase in audience interaction.
"Jhumroo" is a treat for those who have grown up on Kishore da's music and a great medium for the youngsters to experience the magic of his melodies. But most of all, it will be a wonderful window of the colour, dance, music and drama that Bollywood stands for, to international visitors.
"We couldn't have gone wrong with Kishore Kumar," said Wizcraft director Viraf Sarkari before the media preview of the show went on floors Thursday afternoon.
Well, the show proved they didn't!