Peek into the backstage of Bachchan’s world tourAugust 16th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) The Bachchan’s Unforgettable Tour extravaganza is no lightweight matter! Around 800 costumes, 10-15 tonnes of luggage and a backstage army of 150 helpers are part of each show that the Bollywood star family is wowing worldwide audiences with. Giving an inside view of the happenings backstage, Viraf Sarkari, the brain behind the show, told IANS from New York on phone: “We are travelling with about 800 costumes and 10-15 tonnes of luggage that include props, equipment and baggage.”
The backstage army numbers 150. “There are 40 dancers, all from Shiamak Davar’s troupe and nearly 60 people managing travel, costumes, wardrobes, stage and other paraphernalia,” said Viraf, director of Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
The tsars of Bollywood entertainment, Amitabh Bachchan, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya, held a mega three-hour concert Aug 15 in New York.
The show, studded with glamour, lights and high-decibel song and dance sequences, is part of the family’s Unforgettable Tour that began July 18.
As the Bachchans showcase Indian movie entertainment in all its glory, the men backstage go on an overdrive, almost round-the-clock, to get the act right.
The crew also tend to the make-up, hair and clothes of the actors and dancers.
The sets are designed with Light-emitting Diodes (LED) and computer lighting system. “I have designed the sets and we are using the same sets everywhere. It normally takes three days to set up the entire stage. The team has to reach the venue well in dvance to make all the arrangements for the performance. Stars usually arrive on the day of the performance,” said Viraf.
The stage designers have also created graphics for the show.
Actor Riteish Deshmukh and actress Preity Zinta, along with composer duo Vishal-Shekhar and ace choreographer Shiamak Davar are also part of the Bachchan entourage.
The regimen for Big B, the highlight of the concert, is power-packed. “He is absolutely fit and goes to the gym every day. As far as food is concerned, we are coordinating with restaurants and hotels and getting good food. Anyway, all the stars are very particular about their diet. So that is not a problem,” Viraf said.
So far, the Bachchans have travelled to Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and the US, Viraf said, adding that a key factor while deciding on the venue was the Indian diaspora.
“We have a discussion with the local promoters and decide to host shows in the area where there is a huge Asian population,” he said.
Publicity and sale of tickets is taken care of by local event management firms. “The shows were complete sell-outs.”
The man behind the show, however, refused to divulge the cost of each show.
The tour has busted the myth that only young blood sells in Bollywood. “The moment Amitabh appears on stage, there is an overwhelming response from fans who go berserk,” Viraf said.
The fact that Amitabh Bachchan is grey and over 60 does not take away from his screen appeal. The icon remains evergreen.
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Tags: abhishek, amitabh bachchan, arpana, bollywood star, choreographer, dance sequences, dvance, international entertainment, lighting system, paraphernalia, preity zinta, riteish deshmukh, shekhar, shiamak davar, song and dance, stage designers, star family, tsars, wizcraft, worldwide audiences