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New Delhi: Disney India’s attempt at bringing the timeless classic story of “Beauty and the Beast” to India via a Broadway musical was a success in Delhi and Mumbai. The show’s director, Vikranth Pawar, says such “entertaining” endeavours with homegrown talent can give a fillip to the popularity of live theatre in the country.

After bedazzling the people of Mumbai by bringing the story of a girl falling for a prince-turned-beast, to life, the musical show enthralled people in Delhi last month.

“It is important to attract audiences by doing work that they find entertaining like Broadway on a good scale with Indian talent. People will come to watch, they will love the presentation and then the culture of the theatre will grow with the whole process,” said Pawar, creative head and show director, Live Entertainment, Disney India.

Of course, the story was re-imagined to suit the sensibilities of the Indian audience.

“The script and the score are original, but the rest has been re-imagined by Indian talent. From the 360 degree sets with houses and cobbled streets, the script and costumes, we took the liberty to use the embroidery and embellishments which the audience are familiar with and can connect with,” Pawar said.

Pawar, who is also credited for musicals like “Jhumroo” and “Zangoora”, noted that the feedback from Mumbai’s “flabbergasted” audience took the enthusiasm on a whole new level.

“The audience in Mumbai was flabbergasted. It is a big spectacular show nothing that India has seen before and the talent exhibited is Indian as well,” said the director.

Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, the classic musical love story was presented to Indian audiences on the same scale as the mega productions seen on New York’s Broadway and in London’s West End.

Pawar had a huge team to unfold the whimsical chapter in India. Some eminent names involved in the Indian production included Leslie Lewis (music direction), Terence Lewis (choreography), Varsha Jain (set design) and Gavin Miguel (costume design).

Directing Broadway has been a great journey for Pawar, who is in his late 30s.

“It has been a great journey so far right from the time I read the script and visualised how it can be done. Getting to do this with Disney banner is such a privilege. And for me, it has been such a great experience to put out what was in my head and to get appreciated by the crew. It has been a very humbling at the same time, a very rewarding journey”. (IANS), (image courtesy:


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.