I am not up on my Bollywood trivia, but apparently the late, great King of Pop, Mr. Michael Jackson himself, is something of an idol for the industry. Such is the premise of Anita Majumdar’s new play Oy! Just Beat It!, playing until Sunday as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. But what has Michael Jackson got to do with Bollywood, you ask? My first thoughts exactly. So let’s take a moment to look at the similarities: Catchy and relentlessly cheery tunes? Check. Glitzy costumes? Check. Stellar dance moves? Check check.
According to the Toronto Star, Oy! Just Beat It is one of the plays getting some buzz at this year’s Fringe, and judging by the story, it’s well deserved. Now that we’ve established that Michael Jackson and Bollywood are a match made in svarga (take a quick peek at Majumdar’s rundown of MJ-inspired routines if you’re still not convinced), let’s move on to the plot.
With only days to go before she is shipped off to Canada to make good on an arranged marriage, Kabirah (Majumdar) gets to live out her dream of being a playback singer for an honest-to-goodness Bollywood film. Her biggest credit to date is a commercial for a skin whitening cream, but now she is paired with Felipe (Leon Aureus), an accomplished Filipino-Indian singer. Over the course of the recording session the singers, along with the disembodied voice of their sound engineer (played by real life sound engineer Reza Jacobs), cover topics of love, heritage, immigration, shadism, and of course, MJ.
If you want to check out Oy! Just Beat It! before it closes, then boogie on down to Tarragon Extra Space this weekend and let Kabirah and Felipe rock your world!
Also keep checking Daily Dose over the next couple weeks as we bring you an in-depth review of Oy! Just Beat It!