By B. Simm
Jubilee Auditorium, Sept. 25
Whatever you imagine a Bollywood stage musical might be, leave it all behind at the door. In a sparkling explosion of colour supreme, Taj Express shakes, shimmers and bursts wide open with pure exotica. The vibrant display is simply ecstatic and unparalleled – it’s Bollywood gone Broadway in pulsating spectrums of rainbow light from another dimension.
What’s so extraordinary about the production is its lack of special effects and technical wizardry. Instead, spectacular costumes that flash silver and blue, purple and gold from streams of brilliant light are the show’s stunning, visual tour de force.
While there is a fun, dumb story mixed in about a beautiful runaway Bollywood star and a struggling young composer looking for his first hit, told through the narrative of a cheeseball session guitarist, the music is what really propels events. A combination of hard-hitting pop and untamed bhangra smash onto the stage floor as dancers push through sensual, riveting routines that are truly amazing.
Taj Express also has its romantic slow-motion moments, but when the women bare their mid-riffs and the men take off their tops the train roars full steam ahead, as does the audience standing, quite literally, in their seats.
Taj Express runs Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton.