Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Ask Me the Week I See Salman Khan?

I’m seeing Salman Khan live!  And more importantly PRABHUDEVA!!!!!!  And Katrina and Jacqueline and I think 3 other people I don’t care about.  Anyway, help me run out the clock until this magic moment!

Happy Monday!  As always, you can ask me anything from the personal (“how many big stadium shows have you seen now?”) to the specific and factual (“what’s the deal with the stadium shows for Indian movie stars?”) to the general discussion (“are stadium shows a good thing or a bad thing star image-wise?”)

Only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I answer, feel free to jump in and join the conversation.

 

Now, question for you!  A three parter.

Who is a star you would see no matter what even if you had to drive 2 hours and spend $200 on tickets?

Tickets weren’t that expensive, and it’s only an hour and a half drive (less if there’s no traffic) but I would have spent that much for 3 of my stadium concerts: Shahrukh, Asha Bhosle, and Karan Johar.  And Salman this week.

Who is a star you wouldn’t mind seeing if they were only an hour away and tickets were only $50?

This is how I ended up seeing Arijit Singh!

Who is a star you wouldn’t mind seeing if they were half an hour away and tickets were $30?

And this is how I saw Vishal-Shekhar.  Which was GREAT.

Who is a star you would only see if tickets were free?

For me, Vir Das and AR Rahman.  Vir Das was performing at a club where a friend worked and she got us in for free.  And AR Rahman was doing a classy concert at a classy historic theater and a friend had an extra ticket.

Who is a star you wouldn’t see even if tickets were free?

Hmm.  Tricky!  Well, there’s a bunch of “tribute concerts” out in the suburbs that are just local performers doing a series of songs from one composer or whatever.  Definitely not going to one of those, even if it’s free.

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42 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Ask Me the Week I See Salman Khan?

  1. I’ve only seen two Bollywood stage shows in my life. The first was the original Temptations tour headlined by SRK. When I saw it my reaction was, the cultural programs put on by the local India associations in various cities are much, much better in quality. I felt ripped off, even though I bought one of the cheaper tickets, as that’s all that I could afford.

    For Salman’s show I could afford much better seats, mainly because the tickets prices were much lower (instigated by Salman). This was the Rockstars tour. As a show I thought it was excellent, and equal to anything put on, for instance, in Las Vegas. My main regret was that the organizers couldn’t think beyond the local desi audience in marketing the show, because I felt it would be attractive to the general American audience as well.

    The SRK show started three hours late. The Salman show started one hour late. So even in that, it was superior. 🙂

    Having seen both those shows when I was in the throes of fandom for the headline star in each case, I now wouldn’t bother to see any show, because I am no longer in that mind space of being a fan of anyone. So I won’t try to answer your questions.

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    • When I saw Shahrukh, not the Temptations tour but SLAM, it was the same kind of “as good as Vegas” quality. But also started an hour late. But that was because Yoyo was in the hospital and they had to do all kinds of last minute changes to work around that, so I will forgive it.

      However, I have heard stories of how long it took the stage shows to reach that level of quality, that it used to be people would just buy tickets and show up to see the stars and didn’t care about what was happening around them. So Temptations being a disappointment make sense to me, and I am glad by the time I started watching shows there was a higher standard.

      I’m fascinated by the local desi audience factor. I had a friend who went to a K-pop show and she said it was at least a third non-Korean in the audience. Which would be such a different experience, the Indian shows feel like a cultural event, people are dressed in their nicest Indian style outfits and bringing their whole families with them and meeting up with old friends, and there is always the local community leader who is brought out on stage at some point. But if a third of the audience was non-Indian and only there for the performances, all of that would go away. Which could be good or bad, almost certainly would make the shows higher quality and better to watch (fewer screaming children and drunk uncles), but might also lose something special about the experience. And worst case scenario, the ticket prices would go up and the desi family groups could no longer afford to come because of the “outside” fans.

      Oh, and with Salman and the ticket prices, you are making me think maybe I was right in a thought I had when I saw the cheap tickets weren’t available 48 hours after the announcement of the show. I bet they are holding them back, I bet there will be another big block of cheap seats released this week to make sure that people who didn’t hear about the concert until later can still find a seat at a lower price. Which is fair and responsible and a good idea, it wouldn’t be right for just those who had the disposable income and time (like me) to make a purchase the first week to get all the cheap seats.

      On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 7:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Interesting thoughts on the influence of non-desi audience. I don’t know the answers.

        Re the lower ticket prices being instigated by Salman, I mean he literally told the organizers to lower the prices across the board, so their sales would rise. It’s not a case of holding back the cheaper tickets for later sale.

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        • In this case, I don’t think he did that, just because the prices were slightly higher than some show I’ve seen there and the same as others (Ashaji and Arijit Singh, the cheap tickets were $40 and next was $60, SRK and Salman and Karan, it was $60 for cheap seats, $80 for the next level, and so on up to a couple thousand for the best seats).

          But I can believe instead that they decided to hold back cheaper seats, just to give more people a chance to buy them instead of them going to whoever was fast enough to buy early. It was really odd that the cheap seats were not available that quickly, and if I looked at the map of what seats were available, it didn’t seem like they had all been sold.

          On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 9:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m having lots of thoughts prompted by Race 3, in the form of questions, which can be used as springboards for blog posts. But I don’t know whether to post them here (since they’re in question form), or hang on till Wednesday and post them as what I’m “thinking.”

    Or I can just send them to you privately. 🙂

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    • Whatever you like! no reason to wait until Wednesday if you want a discussion today, but you are also welcome to send them privately if you want, although then you would miss out on any brilliant thoughts others may have.

      Oh, another possibility is to wait until I put up my box office post, I am hopeful figures will be out today and I can dig in and try to figure out what is really going on.

      On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 9:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ll wait till Wednesday, I think, because the “questions” aren’t really things you can (or I want you to) answer off the top of your head, but more like “points to ponder” and then deliver your answer in the form of a well thought through blog post. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s something else to throw into your thoughts. I just got an email from one of the ticket listserves I’m on offering cut rate Dabangg tickets. The expensive seats, $200 down to $150. So I guess they can’t sell them as easily as they thought they might. Do you think there is a possibility it WON’T be sold out? It wasn’t for Ashaji, but it was for even Dream Team with Karan Johar as the biggest headliner.

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      • Who all is in the “cast”? I can only think of Jackie and Daisy. Is Katrina part of it, too? Oh, yeah, you said Prabhudeva, too. I don’t know. It might be a little bit like Race 3, in that the only real crowd puller is Salman with a bunch of duds. Comparing it to the only other Salman show I attended, Rockstars, that had some people well known for dancing, i.e, Esha Deol and Shahid Kapoor, some other definite crowd pullers like Kareena and Mallika Sherawat (who was really HOT back then). Yes, the Hindi audience knows Prabhudeva, but what can he do by himself? I mean, if he doesn’t have a comparable (woman) dancer to partner him? It’s just possible that Daisy Shah might be that partner, but on the whole, I don’t know, if Katrina isn’t part of the show.

        It’s quite possible it won’t be sold out, just like any other show. The real question is will there be huge “holes” in the theater? I don’t think so.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think Katrina is still in it, and Jacqueline. But compared even with Dream Team, which was the last really big show I saw, it isn’t much. That had Varun and Alia and Sidharth, plus Katrina and Karan Johar. And Parineeti and ARK (although I don’t know if many people cared about them). There was no really massive headliner, but definitely a solid matched group. oh, and also Badshah. And SLAM was really big, Farah and Boman and Abhishek and Deepika, plus Yo Yo, along with Shahrukh. Oh, and Sonu Sood and Mallaika Arora. Wow, I’d probably have seen that show even without Shahrukh in it!

          On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 10:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I’m thinking of a stage show by Telugu stars I went to a long time ago, with (hold on to your heart) Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishna, Brahmanandam, and some other actors. There were about 200 people in an auditorium whose capacity was at least 1000. That’s what I mean by “holes in the theater.” I had bought one of the cheap tickets with seating about midway from the stage, along with some others, but they invited everyone to come to the front row seats, so they would at least have a solid wall of people to look at at the front. Everyone but me moved, but I stayed where I was, since I found the noise level too high even where I was, and no way was I going to get any closer to the speakers! 🙂

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          • When I saw Vishal and Shekhar, it wasn’t that bad, but it was probably only 2/3rds full. They asked people to come forward too, I think partly because it was such a high energy show they really wanted to feel the crowd. Like you, I chose to stay up in my cheap seats.

            For Ashaji, there were whole sections of the stadium blocked off. Not sure if they never planned to sell those seats (I am sure it is easier and cheaper to have a show if you know you don’t even have to open certain aisles) or if they just didn’t sell and decided to rearrange the seating around that. But every other show, I was curious so I looked around when the lights went up, and so far as I could see very single seat was filled. There’s 11,000 seats, so I am sure I could have missed on here and there, but mostly completely full.

            On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 10:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Ahh. Question: Congratulations on making an Insta but in order to get more followers, try using hashtags in your post. Like #srk #bollywood #hindi. Using these will definitely make the post more accessible to anyone who is curious about Indian movies. Also posts on insta is very tricky because the goal is Drive people from insta to the blog. Have you thought of any ideas? The posts you have so far, idk, I don’t think it catches the eyes and makes them curious enough to go to the blog. Maybe ask questions? And they will have to see the blog for the answers. Just a humble suggestion 🙂

    If prabhas decides to do a stage show, I might think about it. Hehehehe. There was a Biju Menon Show in LA recently and it was horrible. It was mostly songs, and 2 comedy skits. Mallu stage shows involve a lot of songs, and comedy skits because we are obesssed with mimicry. The professional artists like rahul raj, swetha menon, gayathri Suresh all have dances. How is a Bollywood stage show like??
    I feel like it is more entertaining than a mallu one would ever beeee.

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    • Yeah, I’m already thinking I need to just bite the bullet and find the money to pay someone to do my social media for me. I am terrible at it, and it makes me miserable. Doing a handful of instagram posts was enough to depress me so much I don’t feel like writing anything else today. Heck, if you feel like earning a little extra money, I could just have you do it!

      I went to that North American Film Awards Malayalam thing, and there was so much talking! And one looooooooooong comedy set that was mostly mimicry, and now that makes more sense. And the little singing/dancing there was, was just people kind of winging it. But then that was technically an “awards show”, not a real show.

      The Hindi ones are massive, Moimeme mentioned in her comment Vegas shows, and that’s exactly what they are like. Light shows, back-up dancers, costumes, people coming down from the ceiling, just amazing. There’s still a little talking, because we want to feel like we are connecting with these celebrities, but it’s mostly spectacle.

      When I saw Vishal and Shekhar at a tiny little theater (actually the same one where the Malayalam awards were held), there was no lights and spectacle, but they were super energetic and entertaining just on their own, jumping all over the stage and stuff. Arijit Singh and AR Rahman had minimal fancy stuff, mostly it was just their music. But there was still a dancer wandering on stage, and a big screen display behind them and all that. And Asha Bhosle was just deadly dull, but that was because she was an old lady and kept running out of energy and having to take long breaks. And even she got some light effects and a big screen behind her.

      You should totally sneak out and go see Salman when he is in LA.

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        • I stared at this for the longest time thinking that you meant you should try sneaking into the Dabangg Reloaded concert without money. Which does indeed sound like a fun evening!

          As for managing social media accounts, maybe! I’ll keep thinking about it and put up an official post on what I’ve decided to do and ask people to respond if it sounds like something they are interested in helping with. And hey, it would look good on your resume, right? “Social Media Manager for major online film news outlet”?

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  4. Do you think Salman will be able to do this show if he wasn’t able to dance and move in Race?

    And for your questions – I did this crazy ” no matter the price and the distance” trip only once in my life, for Chris Young when he came to London. Now I think I would repeat it only for Maddy, and nobody else, but explaining to my husband why I need to spend so much money to see some (unknown for him) guy would be very difficult.
    50$ – I think I would spend it to see Sonu Nigam live. But still it’s so unlikely, because nobody comes here.

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    • Nobody comes there except to get married! I think you need to befriend some connected Italian wedding planner types, you could end up with a better “show” than any of us ever get.

      Sonu Nigam has come to Chicago a couple of times I think and I probably could have gotten tickets for $50 or less, and yet I did not. He was wasted on me.

      On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 3:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, people only come to get married in super private ceremonies or as tourist but only in northern part of the country (except Mallika Sherawat, but who cares )
        Once SRK came to Rome, and italian fans were quite angry with him when they discovered he ate in indian restaurants and not in italian #italians 😉

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        • Reminds me of Queen when the Italian restaurant owner was so mad at her for criticizing his food.

          On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 4:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. What IS the deal with a stage show? So,like a Vegas show? In which Salman will dance some familiar dances from his movies and do a skit (in Hindi, presumably) with Jacqueline and there will be patter and then everyone will go home?

    I would pay 200 dollars to see something like that if it had a lot of different stars in it. Don’t know if I would do it if it were a single person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, that is exactly what it is like! Plus a ton of light effects and costume changes. SLAM is still the best one I’ve been to partly because they handled the “what, and then we go home?” part really well. They had a great mixture of talents, Boman and Farah had some legitimately funny banter, Malaika did some great dances, Sonu Sood took off his shirt, and Shahrukh was charming to the audience. Along with the big chorus numbers to hit songs. Really felt like there was enough to fill 3 hours. This one, I’m not so sure. Prabhudeva will dance, but with who? Salman will stumble around a little (I’m trying not to get my hopes up) and the non-famous people will probably do the majority of the work. I’ve already seen Katrina and I don’t have my hopes up for her, she is NOT natural onstage.

      On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 11:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The part about Sonu Sood taking off his shirt made me laugh. I’m imagining him coming alone onto a silent stage and looking around perplexedly. Then, something occurs to him. He takes off his shirt! The crowd goes wild and he smiles in relief, raises both hands over his head, and walks off the stage.

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        • Honestly, that was kind of what it was like. It was clearly his “thing”, he couldn’t dance, he was only so-so with the patter, they brought him along to be beefcake.

          Dream Team was the best, it was essentially a Chipendale’s show. All the boys stripped for us, they would come out in a shirt and vest, and then they’d slowly lose items and finally pose shirtless as the finale of their number.

          On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Hmm. It seems like he is reacting to the situation by feeling a greater connection to the world and becoming more open. Just from the perspective of celebrity studies, that’s interesting. Amitabh kind of had the same feeling, after his brush with death he started the Sunday viewings, to go out and be with the people. Instead of the more common opposite reaction, celebrities becoming more closed off and private, asking for “space” from the public.

      And also very sad and beautiful and so on, but I can’t stop my celeb studies brain from going!

      On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 11:43 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Well, I went to see IIFA in New Jersey, for somewhere in the 100-200 price range, even though I knew Shah Rukh probably wouldn’t be there. I really wanted to see one of the Hindi movie award shows live, and figured it would be a long time before one would be so close to me again. Totally worth it, especially seeing Shahid dance, A.R. Rahman accept an award and sing a little bit, and Diljit sing. And Salman and Varun were pretty cute together at the end even though by then the entire audience was in a mutiny because it was 3 in the morning.

    I think that Shah Rukh, Irrfan, Juhi, Rani, and Madhuri are the only folks I’m a fan fan of in the sense of wanting to go see them perform or meet them at the upper range of my possible cost and convenience.

    Mid-range cost and convenience: Duran Duran (fangirl since I was 12), AR Rahman, Hamilton the Musical (going to see it tomorrow. So excited!)

    Low range cost and convenience: current playback singers as a group (like the recent Pritam tour), Udit Narayan or Sonu Nigam singly

    Fangirl question: do you think Shah Rukh will do another stadium tour? Do you think he might move to some other kind of appearance, maybe like a book tour if he ever publishes his auto-biography?

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    • My Mom bought us tickets for the Chicago cast of Hamilton in September, I don’t even want to think about how much money it was, but I’m still excited. It’s going to be at the same theater where I saw one of my “mid-range” fan things which was also one of the greatest nights of live theater in my life: High School Musical the Musical. My sister and I went together, surrounded by screaming tweens and patient parents, it was amazing. No celebs in the cast, but probably better dancer/singers in that touring stage show than the Disney stars in the original.

      Wouldn’t an Irrfan massive stage show be great? Huge lights, thundering music, loud announcement, and then he comes out and, like, does a monologue from Shakespeare instead of dancing. But with scantily clad chorus boys behind him.

      AR Rahman was fun, but definitely a mid-range for me. I have a friend who saw his stadium show 10 years ago, that was a whole amazing experience. I saw his classy auditorium show, very decorous and serious and kind of dull.

      Arijit Singh was amazing to see live, but I don’t know if he made me more interested in seeing any other singers. Arijit has so many recent hits and was so serious about the show (clearly arranged his own songs and was conducting the orchestra while singing and really making an effort to bring something new musically), while I suspect someone like Sonu Nigam would be more about going out and singing the old hits the exact same way and not caring.

      I really hope SRK does another stadium tour! It seems like he thrives on them, but also is trying to be more of a serious actor and businessman right now. I don’t see it happening any time soon, if the austranaut biopic pans out that’s not really a “stadium show” kind of movie. But maybe the movie after that will be something lighter and more fun so he has the time and energy and it fits his persona to do another show.

      I’d love him to do a book tour! But I don’t know if he even needs to, feels like if he finishes the book it will sell itself, no tour needed.

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      • I’d love to see Irrfan in a play. Just about any play.

        I think if SRK did a book tour it would be more out of vanity/author “cred” than out of a need to sell the book. Maybe just the hope that people would ask him some different questions for a change!

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        • Anupam Kher and someone else big (maybe Shabana?) did a play near me. And I did not go because it was in the $50 range and I just wasn’t read to spend $50 for a play in a language I couldn’t understand.

          You missed your chance for Jim Sarbh, he was in the theater scene in Atlanta up to a couple of years ago. I bet he is wonderful on stage, and it would have been English language plays!

          On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

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