Konkani sounds of music

By  Joanna Lobo | Mumbai | Posted  09-May-2017

Catch the stage rendition of hit musical, The Sound of Music that will be performed with a Konkani twist

Maria
Maria

The von Trapp family has been given a Konkani soundcheck. This week, you can catch George von Trapp and his seven children and the governess Maria at a Konkani version of The Sound of Music called Naad Ninaad.

"The film has timeless appeal. Every generation watches it and falls in love with it. I've always wanted to do something for children, and this gave us a chance to include music and get in a variety of characters," says director Shashank Sanade.

Maria singing to the kidsMaria singing to the kids

The musical has been put together by the Canara Union Arts Section. "The Saraswat community was known for its thriving theatre scene in the 1980s. In the last two years, we have been trying to revive the performing arts through different plays," shares Sanade. It was after one such performance that Sanade and fellow member Gautam Ubhayakar started talking about their next venture. Sanade had seen a dramatised version of The Sound of Music performed in the US, and was keen to adapt it.
Naad Ninaad has stayed true to the original. The dialogues and music have been translated, although some popular songs like How to Solve a Problem Like Maria and 16 Going on 17 will be in English. "The colonel is from the British Indian Army (he is just referred to as Colonel). The kids - Sangeeta, Rishabh, Gauri, Mandar, Panchami, Dhanashree, and Nitya - are named using the notes of the Indian musical scale, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

A scene from the play
A scene from the play

The timeline of the play is remarkable. The script was translated by Uday Bhatkal in May 2016. Rehearsals began in July, and it was performed for the first time in Bengaluru last November. This is its first showing outside the city. The crew includes nearly 70 members, of which 40 are actors. For most of the cast, this is their first venture into theatre. "We are amateurs, but passionate theatre artistes," laughs Sanade. Auditions were held to select the seven children, but about 15 showed up. So, they decided to include all of them - some characters are played by two kids, while the others become puppets in the play.

A still from the 1965 film. Pic/Courtesy/20th century fox
A still from the 1965 film. Pic/Courtesy/20th century fox

"This is probably the first time a Konkani production is using a back projection technique, where the original mansion, the garden, and the hills are projected on stage, instead of a set," says Sanade, adding that the idea came from Ubhayakar, an amateur theatre enthusiast and senior scientist.

"We were impressed by how the whole thing was put together, so we invited them here to perform," says Sunil Ullal, secretary (sports and cultural events) of the Kanara Saraswat Association (KSA).

On: May 13, 14; 8.30 pm 
At: Yashwant Natya Mandir, Matunga (W).
Call: 23802263 (for donor passes)