LONG BEACH, Calif. – Stage Paint Productions presented the reigning melody queen of Bollywood, Shreya Ghoshal, accompanied by a 35-piece orchestra in a mesmerizing musical extravaganza at the Long Beach Terrace Theater here Aug. 24 to a jam-packed crowd.
The excited audience did not have to wait long because the show started, pleasantly, right on time. Tushar Joshi, singer, internet sensation and assistant to Bollywood music director Pritam Chakraborty, was the opening act. Having sung for blockbusters such as “Dangal,” “Dhada” and “Kalank,” Joshi confidently kicked off the show with “Kalank Nahi Ishq Hai,” “Mithwa Kahe Dhadkane Tujse Kya,” and “Na Seekha Mein Ne Jeena,” before exiting the stage to make way for the featured star artist.
To a collage of her extensive body of work on the big screen and the orchestra rising to a crescendo, an ethereal looking Ghosal walked onto the stage wearing a glittery white gown, gorgeous chandelier earrings and an unmissable shiny bracelet, crooning her blockbuster number, “Sun Raha Hain Na Tu.” As to be expected, the crowd went wild.
From the get-go, Ghoshal was in her element wowing the audience and proving just how popular she is in the Southland. A roar of approval greeted her when she asked, “How are you doing L.A.?” She went on to say, “I have been waiting to come back and take this musical journey with the most super charged audience, along with one of the finest orchestras from the music industry. It is your show and so you have to sing, dance, enjoy, make lots of noise with your claps and whistles.”
Even as the crowd responded to her prodding, Ghoshal proved she remains as humble as she was as a debutant, saying that it was the crowd that would give her the energy to entertain them.
She sprinkled the concert with personal remarks and anecdotes, increasing fan attention. She sang “Chalo Tum Lekar Chalo” from “Jism,” saying it was her favorite number. Before presenting the evergreen “Bahara Bahara Hua Dil,” she pointed out it was a typical romantic Bollywood song from the ironically titled movie, “I Hate Love Stories” and that she fully believes in the power of love. Ghoshal reminded the audience of her first ever pop song by singing “Le Ja Re” and followed it up with yet another blockbuster, “Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai,” which has a Western twist, then segued on to the melodious “Tu Mile Dil Kile.” Later, she had the orchestra in focus while presenting the title song from “Dhadak.” Combined with their seamless instrumentation and a lit-up disco ball in the ceiling which cast a mesmerizing effect in the auditorium, she had the audience enthralled.
Ghoshal said when her father brought home a cassette of the movie “Roja,” she had listened to the songs over and over again not knowing that one day she would have the opportunity to sing for the musical maestro, A.R. Rahman. From his compositions she rendered “Tu Hi Toh Meri Dost Hain” and “Saas Mein Teri Saas Mile Toh.” With Joshi she sang the romantic duets, “Manwa Laage,” “Shukaranulla,” “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain,” “Piya O Re Piya” and “Dheere Dheere Saibo.”
Lauding Los Angeles and saying she feels a special connection to the city, she dedicated “Kuch Toh Hai Tujhse Raabta” to the people here.
In the second act, dressed in a striking red gown with matching accessories she came back singing the soulful “Deewani Mastani” to the delight of the crowd. As a fan of the golden era of music, she paid tribute to the three legends, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh, with the evergreen tunes, “Chaudvin Ka Chaand,” “Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Si” and “Kabhie Kabhie Mere Dil Mein.”
In her tribute to Lata Mangeshkar, whom she considers her guru, Ghoshal presented a medley of her legendary hit songs including, “Aap Ki Nazron Ne,” and then went on to Asha Bhosle’s iconic “Dum Maro Dum.”
Switching gears she presented a medley of her own hit songs, the inspiring “Har Har Maidan Fateh,” the fun “Slow Motion Mein,” the sensuous “Ooh La La,” the modern “Radha Teri Chunri” and finally the sexy “Chikni Chameli,” bringing the audience to their feet.
She paid tribute to her mentor, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, with whom she made her debut with the song, “Bairi Piya” from “Devdas,” and profusely thanked the orchestra conductor, Prakash Peter, for arranging her first song. She continued with her chartbuster “Ghoomar,” from “Padmavat,” with the crowd loudly cheering her on.
The singer dedicated the romantic “Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahani” to her fans. Singing the song that she said was very close to her heart, she presented Lata Mangeshkar’s “Lag Ja Gale,” proving that she is the true successor of the famed singer. Ghoshal wound down the mega musical night displaying her incredible and precise classical chops with “Mere Dholna Sun,” to thunderous applause from an audience not willing to let the musical night end.
The singer acknowledged and thanked Manoj Kaytee of Stage Paint Productions for his support and effort. Kaytee was the promoter of the show in Long Beach and presented it in association with Dr. Ravi & Deepika Bhalla of Chateau Luxe, Holiday Inn Hollywood Walk of Fame, Prakash & Pravin Patel of Kola Hotel Group Inc. Audience members were also appreciative of the well-organized event which, at the start of the show, featured quick moving lines at the entrance and colorful stalls in the lobby briskly selling delicious Indian snacks.
The national promoters, Darshan Mehta and Rocky Kaushal of Shree Balaji Entertainment, were also thanked. The host of the evening was Shilpi Chawla.
Stage Paint Productions shows are invariably sold out and this one was no exception. Formed in 2015, Stage Paint Productions is a venture headed by entertainment industry veteran Manoj Kaytee. Having managed and promoted live musical concerts, theater and stage shows with the biggest names of Bollywood, Kaytee and his team operate one of the most successful entertainment divisions in the Western United States. The gigantic production was notable for its crisp sound and special effects, and audience members described it as “fantastic,” “amazing,” and “the best concert.”