Bollywood Boulevard in New Jersey: a ‘paisa vasool’ performance

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NEWARK, NJ – When Bollywood Boulevard premiered at the Lincoln Center in the summer of 2017, it was a huge hit. They again recreated the same effect playing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark, New Jersey, this past weekend.

Like any other Bollywood film filled with song and dance, Bollywood Boulevard fulfills the journey of the Hindi film Industry through those very same songs one sees and hears day after day.

The 90-minute, non-stop, musical extravaganza featured four singers and 13 dancers performing to some classic Bollywood songs, that has entertained people around the world.

Rushi Vakil, one of the creators of the show, told News India Times earlier in an interview: “We want the audience to feel like they are watching a live movie while experiencing the journey of Bollywood.”

The show did exactly that.

Presented in a film format, the show starts with a visual feature of the first film, Raja Harischandra, which was a silent film and then goes on to narrate how Alam-Ara became the first talkie.

From there, the artists take the audience down memory lane with some Black and White classics, including, ‘Ramayya Vastawaiyya,” “Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua” and “Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya,” representing the transformation of Black and White film into color.

After introducing color in film, the show went through the Golden Era which was ruled by singers Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar and accompanied by actors Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor.

The artists whizzed through the decade of the 70s which was dominated by the first superstar of Bollywood, Rajesh Khanna, followed by the living legend Amitabh Bachchan.

Then came the 90s, portrayed like a film within a film or more appropriately a short film of its own with the typical plot line of ‘boy meets girl, they fall in love but their parents don’t want them to get married’, amidst the backdrop of familiar songs.

Once that story was finished, the ‘film’ showed the Bollywood of today and how it still influences the lives of artists and movie lovers all over.

Bollywood Boulevard isn’t like any other Bollywood dance show though.

What makes Bollywood Boulevard unique are the visuals and multimedia along with the live band playing in the background.

There were also visuals that recreated scenes from a film, as well as fun multimedia, to fill the audience in with facts about the Hindi film industry.

Overall, Bollywood Boulevard is a spectacular display that showcases the journey and highlights the epic moments of the Hindi film industry.

This dedication to Bollywood is a must watch for all true fans out there and for those who also appreciate the industry for what it was, what it is and what it will be tomorrow.