World Theater Day: Let’s Put on a SHOW!

Thanks to Amitji, I just learned this is “World Theater Day”.  Which seems like as good an excuse as any to do a light songs post.  So, let’s look at movie songs that take place within a theater!

Here’s a fun one!  Which plays with the idea of who is the audience and who are the performers.


I just put up the big finale show from Aaja Nachle, so now I am going to put up my favorite song, the rehearsal song.


Speaking of Madhuri and shows (no, I am not going to do Dil To Pagal Hai), remember when she was a doctor who had to help raise money for the hospital through the charity show?


All of these so far have been actual stage shows, but street theater has a long history in India as well, often used to give public service messages, like about the importance of using condoms when doing sex work in order to prevent HIV/AIDS.


Or sometimes just street theater to get coins from passers by, like young hot Akshay Kumar.


Or, to go the other way with the dancer giving money to the audience, sometimes you are trying to do a classy theater show, and a crazed mechanic shows up to demand payment for the car repairs you walked out on the night before.


Or sometimes you call a crazed truck driver who is in love you on to the stage to participate in the convent school performance.


Or sometimes you go to your daughter’s school performance only to realize that your male nanny, who helped direct the show, was obviously the boy who saved your life in college and put your whole story into the children’s performances!


I could go on and on (and on!) but I don’t know if I can top “Ek Thi Ladki”, at least in the cuteness quotient.  But feel free to suggest other “theater” songs in the comments!


35 thoughts on “World Theater Day: Let’s Put on a SHOW!

      • Even for a Bollywood song, this is SO REPETITIVE that I don’t often listen to it. Fun! I actually first went looking for the jail cell scene from Oh Darling Yeh Hai India (where Hero spools out different versions of events for the guards which always end in them being killed, their wives crying, their children orphaned…). As joyomama and others have said, ODYHI feels so much like an over the top (in a good way) play. But, couldn’t find a video of just that scene. Young Shah Rukh actually reminds me of young Tim Curry in several scenes and songs in ODYHI.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Did you ever see Russian Ark? It’s kind of like that. MF Hussain was India’s greatest modern painter, and he did this kind of mood piece with Madhuri moving through Indian history and legend. If you are in the right mood for it, it’s brilliant. But if not, it’s just weird.

            And if you want proof of Hussain’s amazing eye for beauty, he was also the one who discovered Kunal Kapoor! He wanted someone incredibly breathtakingly beautiful for a role in his second movie, and obviously Kunal was perfect.

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 4:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

    • This was the part where I snapped out of the film and realized it wasn’t an original script! I was so deeply convinced that it was till this happened. I absolutely hate Shahid in this. Wtf are those facial expressions about?!


      • The title “Haider” from the man who brought us “Omkara” and “Maqbool” didn’t tip you off?

        Meanwhile, I have never seen this movie because it opened opposite Bang Bang and I kept going to the theater sincerely meaning to watch Haider, and then ending up just buying a ticket for Bang Bang again. It’s the perfect movie!

        On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • That’s how sucked into that universe I was that it took me all that time till just before the climax and the God awful song to figure it out.

          Also, when you say things like Bang Bang is the perfect film and you skipped Haider multiple times for it, it just makes me wonder how good a girl you really are 😂


          • Minimal Kat, maximal Danny in ascots, Hrithik doing one total blow out dance number, and multiple ridiculous action scenes, it is everything I want in a movie! Plus, Hrehaan has an adorable cameo.

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • No! Honestly, I don’t much like the way Hrithik looks in Bang Bang. And I like Shahid better than him anyway. But Bang Bang is just such a happy movie! So I let my desire for happiness and joy rule me, rather than my desire for watching the “important” film (blech).

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Ok so I was sort of sick yesterday too and because I wanted to recapture my super creative period I resubscribed to the English language entertainment and movie packs on my dish which I had given up like three years ago because all the shows and films on them I already got from cousins who got them off torrents and the Tv versions were just too chopped off. Anywho, point of the pointless story is that I ended up watching this kiddie film- American Girl- Grace something blah blah and it took me back to when I was that age and we first got cable and I used to watch all these English language kiddie shows and it felt like real life.

            It so made me wonder why we don’t have movies for kids and tweens and pre teens and teens in India? That’s a huge audience. And whatever kids films we do have are amazing!! Have you watched them?? I feel like I’ve asked you this before. I so should down another coffee. The first one clearly didn’t do it’s job!


          • I’ve only seen a couple children’s films, partly because they are all sort of hidden gems. It’s not like I would run across them on the “box office top grossers” list, or in film history books on the most critically acclaimed films of all time. Which is the problem you are pointing towards, there just aren’t that many of them and they don’t get a lot of attention.

            Part of the reason might be because kids don’t have any money? Back when Disney started, everyone told Walt he was crazy for making a movie for children because they can’t buy tickets. But he knew the key was the merchandising, the stuff around the movies that the kids would buy with their allowance, or their parents would get for them.

            The movie you watched (which I remember seeing good reviews for) is actually a feature length doll advertisement. I don’t know if the American Girl Dolls have reached India or not, but they are these super expensive things that you can buy whole wardrobes for and so on, and to support the dolls, the company put out these little book series to tell you the story of your doll. Each doll and each book series is from a different era of American history. And the movie is for the “Grace” doll, one of the newer ones to the line that they wanted to introduce.

            So maybe the key to getting more Indian children’s movies is getting someone to open a high end toy store related to it? Does Reliance have a toy branch yet? Surely they do.

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Dude when I was below 10 and didn’t understand the concept of money I made the puppy eyes and got all kinds of barbie sets which were super rare for the small towns my got posted in. Me and my brother used to create entire plotlines for them and there was at least one Jesus themed version (don’t even ask)!

            I only stopped with the barbie thing because I got into cricket and I dream of jeannie and bats needed to be worn out to be good and there was no I dream of jeannie merchandise here.

            I don’t know why no big filmmaker is doing a tie in with these brands. The entire Japanese cartoon lineup sells dish packages, school bags, cakes, fireworks and whatever else you can think of! My cousins used to beg for my phone so they could download barbie dress up games. So yes, the market is there. But our industry just can’t work with kids without the romance angle. Heck, even we can’t think of fanfic without the romance angle. Maybe that’s the problem!


          • Not really. I bought it a friend’s new baby boy when I was in shimla. Hectic schedule made it impossible to meet the friend again so I selfishly kept the doll. 😂 and now it’s mine.


      • I think he’s doing the Hamlet thing of pretending to be crazy (or is he pretending?). Hamlet isn’t really my fave story in general. I can be indecisive too, but man, at some point you gotta make a decision and follow it through! And Ophelia and Gertrude both get raw deals.


        • I think the point of all Shakespeare tragedies is that it is tragic to be a man in a man’s world.

          Hamlet too is an unmanly man in a man’s world. For this particular adaptation, it should have been something less masala. Like a game of antakshari at like a girls’ school for a charity thing that Haider crashes drunk and he throws some obvious shade at them both with famous songs. Obviously the songs shahid would be singing drunk instead of being playback.


          • I totally would have gone with that option. Then it would be another famous songs medley that Margaret could unpack for us here!

            Great summary of Shakespeare tragedies. I think Romeo and Juliet is a comedy, by the way. Makes much more sense that way.


          • Romeo and Juliet is just an example of the rod being spared. Like, where the fuck are the adults who are supposed to be supervising those brats?! Now that I’m no longer 14, it feels like total rubbish. Like 13 Reasons Why.

            Unless someone tells me it was about the agony of being gay and in a forbidden relationship.


          • I’ve probably told you this before, but my college Shakespeare professor (former head of the English department, professor Emeritus and Shakespeare scholar, very dignified older man) announced we were doing King Lear instead of Romeo & Juliet because “teenagers in love… [blows raspberry]”

            The only way Romeo & Juliet works for me is if the lack of supervision is part of the tragedy. Like, the reason they were so quick to fall in love and be stupid is because their parents were so obsessed with the feud that they had no time for their kids.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • What are the odds that the mirza sahiban legend had made it back to England and Shakespeare just adapted it? The trade had begun quite earnestly at that time and the story does bear quite a striking resemblance to the middle eastern legend.


          • You got me curious, so I did research! Romeo and Juliet is possibly based on a true story, originally written as a novella by an Italien author in the early 1500s. Mirza-Sahibaan was first written down by a Sufi poet who lived in the 1600s. I am sure the Mirza-Sahiban legend predates that, but the written version is actually after the first written version of Romeo and Juliet. And, again, it was supposed to be based on a true story.

            So I think I am going to go with a coincidence, they are only similar because teenagers are stupid everywhere.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

        • One thing I have to add to any Hamlet discussion:

          The title of my sister’s college paper on Hamlet, suggested by my mother: “Hamlet: Prince or Pastry?” (because, you know, he was Danish)

          On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

  1. But Swades! Pal Pal Hai Bhaari and does Yeh Tara Woh Tara count? I guess it’s not really a stage performance.

    Whyyyyyyyyy isn’t Kunal a bigger star? He was so great in Aja Nachle.


    • But I just did the Swades songs! And also the big Aaja Nachle songs.

      Kunal is so wonderful! I don’t know either.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 2:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.