An evening @ Kitt’s Row
The International school of Utrecht’s musical theatre production is an epic musical about creation, growth, and their consequences over a two-week period. The two and a half hour performance was not just thoroughly entertaining but also immensely thought provoking. A year of rehearsals, dedication, commitment, fun, excitement, culminated into 3 wonderful evenings of performance at the ZIMHC Theatre, Utrecht.
-by Priyanka Gupta, Website editor; pictures Lila Rodrigues (@bylilarodrigues) & (@photoclub_isu)
Tough to see them back at school as students
The residents of Kitt’s Row are introduced to the audience by the ‘Cherub girls’ (Saanvi, Tanishka and Leila) who immediately find a place in our hearts with their coordination, colours of the 80’s, and rapping!
While the the ‘Cherub girls’ talk about the residents, one is quickly able to weave the common thread between all of them- misery. They are all looking for something more. Love? Luck? Lottery? Partner? Happiness? Growth? Money? What is going to make Kitt’s Row transform from shabby to glamourous? Kitt’s row has been the same old neighbourhood over years and years. It surely needs ‘outsiders’ to do the trick.
The first group of outsiders, the contractors, arrive at Kitt’s row with an ambition to create a world-class shopping mall with a multi-level parking facility. They desire to create the next ‘Les Galeries LaFayette.’ While Yoshi convinces us about their plans and show us the transformation dream, Chiara is ever so obedient and dedicated to the boss! Their plan is fool proof, a plan that will leave their pockets and bank accounts full. And while politician Avantika questions the intent sometimes, it is a choice any Kitt’s row resident would make- to be (a little) richer.
The other group of intruders are ‘the devils.’ Money is not what they are seeking. They are out there for something more. A lot more valuable than money. Yue (Lucifer) breeds hatred. Her walk down the aisle in her red cloak and high heels, her make over from the coyest 10th grader to this:
Is not just unbelievable but so commendable. Moksh and Yonathan (as Mephi and Stophi) add just the right creep into the scenes with some tough-to-maintain postures and spine-chilling body language.
The brothers, Sushi and Mihir (Brian and Bradly) portray great contrasting characters. Bradly’s innuendos and brainless deeds provide moments of laughter, while Brain’s pitiful condition, lack of monetary resources and love, depressed state of mind makes the audience want to connect with him, help him, bring him out of misery.
Emilie (Ms. Luce), with her crystals and tarot cards connects not only with the moon and its alignments but also secretly aligns with the audience who secretly want to approach her to know their future!
The Basuras are a quintessential family of Kitt’s Row with Disha (Mr. Basura) trying hard to provide all that he can but never meeting expectations of his greedy-needy wife, Paula or his daughter Pranjali (Angel). Paula’s hairdo and Pranjali’s hair flick is quite impactful! Avni (Dolores), their other daughter depicts her higher moral ground throughout, especially closing the musical on a very thoughtful note.
Karlijn (Rudolfus), the plant that promises to bring about quick ‘growth’, who promises to change Brian’s life forever, get him all that he craves for, is truly about to change Kitt’s Row forever- and does! We don’t see Karlijn as much as we want to, but her powerful voice, with a special texture to it makes her one with the plant! I’d give her more blood (what she feeds on) just to hear sing!
Emmanuel (Orin) is the one we love to hate! The dentist’s arrogant, over-confident, chauvinist character, his idea of ‘love’ and ‘profession’ only make us detest him while we completely love his stage time and presence! His biking, workout, and above all, the dentist song creates ripples! He is a true show-stopper!
The much-loved Rudy (Emilie) is secretive and sensitive. She is only trying to secure a happy ever-after. Her spotlight moment gives goosebumps. The distant look, the notes she touches upon, her poise- she is truly scintillating. Her lady love, Logan (Roxeane) is dealing hard with coming out, being open about herself and her love interest. Her sneaky looks, bold eye-contact with the audience and interactions with the crystal queen bring about fresh energy and much needed laughter moments!
Zoe’s melodrama when she reveals her story is hilarious! Her ear piercing cries, her final dance with Emmanuel, before she feeds him to the plant, only prove that she is an actor par excellence!
Mohana (Auntie Jo), and Aahana (Skip Nip) are true to their roles! Aahana’s enthusiasm is infectious! Mohana’s rollers shall be remembered! Mohana’s concern for Akshara (Wino), preventing the drunkard from being gobbled up by Rudolfus is a beautiful moment. Akshara delivers like no other. One has to adore the tippler, her little songs, her sheer presence! She is such a natural!
Music was the soul of this production. The very talented team improvised and interacted with the actors and the audience in special ways!
We don’t know if Sushi (Brian), was right or not. What we do know is that he gave ‘IT’ his blood. We see his orphaned, poor past. We hope and pray for a better future for him, for all of Kitt’s Row, for ourselves and for the generations to come!