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Karachi

November 14, 2017

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‘Broadway Bridges’ – a little something for everyone

‘Broadway Bridges’ – a little something for everyone

A combination of songs from various musicals, old and contemporary, ‘Broadway Bridges’ was a fresh take on the iconic theatre form associated with American popular culture.

Helmed by the American Business Council of Pakistan, the show was presented at the Arts Council, Karachi, on Sunday evening following shows in Islamabad and Lahore. The performance commenced with ‘Seasons of Love’ from ‘Rent’ and the audience clapped along with the 10-member crew featuring seven artistes from Pakistan and two from the US.

Divided into five musical sets – namely Hamilton Suite, Kander and Ebb/Julie Styne Suite, Sound of Music Suite, Soundheim Suite and Disney Suite – the diverse show also included rap performances.

Some of the popular songs included ‘My Shot’, ‘First You Dream’ from ‘Steel Pier’, ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Sound of Music’. The younger lot in attendance could greatly relate to the last ones – ‘A Whole New World’ from ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from ‘The Lion King’.

While all the actors put in commendable performances and the synchronisation was done quite well given the time constraints for rehearsals, Iman Shahid, Zainab Qaiserani, Hamzah Tariq and Akber Shahzad were the remarkable four.

In particular, Iman’s performance in ‘All That Jazz’ and Zainab’s effort in ‘Cabaret’ amazed all. John Ferguson, the person behind the production, said that there had been countrywide auditions for the show and only seven people were selected from a pool of 60 aspirants.

“The project started with a series of auditions across Pakistan. We worked together from the US via Skype and WhatsApp to complete all the organising, coaching and selections in time.”

Ferguson narrated that the entire crew finally came together in Islamabad just two weeks ago and spent six days finalising all aspects before hitting the road. “From Islamabad to Lahore and then Karachi, it has been an intense experience. None of us has had a day off for over two weeks now.”

“I believe the amount of talent in Pakistan is simply remarkable and the rest of the world needs to know about it. Through the power of video and the social media we hope to show the world this side of Pakistan,” he said.

Actor and singer Zainab Qaiserani, who hails from Islamabad and is a qualified lawyer, said, “It was great working with the entire team. We could have done with some more preparatory time but it was still a life-changing experience.”

The complete cast was Peter Thoresen and Rhyn McLemore from New York; Iman and Zainab from Islamabad; Saad Sheikh from Lahore; and Hamzah Tariq, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Amtul Baweja and Akber Shahzad from Karachi. The production was a part of the ‘Daniel Pearl World Music Days’ programme of the Daniel Pearl Foundation which commemorates the deceased journalist’s passion for music.

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