Laughter. Tears. Laughter. Tears. On and on it went.
Kolkata, 9th May 2022
What a show it was. Terrified of Twenty-Five, a Broadway style solo musical, that premiered in Kolkata, at the amphitheater at the pristine Emami Arts, was a spectacle of the heart. An experience that I am sure none of the lucky spectators are going to forget in a long time. Basking in the glory of all her hard work over the past two years, was the creator, composer and performer of the musical, Jhansi. (BA in Musical Theatre Performance from Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, Instagram: @jhansidramaqueen )
Firstly, to even have our own young people creating such distinct and stylised work in Kolkata, writing, composing and performing in the style of Western Musical Theatre (Broadway), was incredibly exciting. However, what we were not ready for, when we went in, was exactly how much our own personal life would be reflected as she performed. From our deepest shames and insecurities, to our very real fears of losing loved ones, to how utterly ridiculous the wedding industry is, she covered all the topics that plague us, all of us.
The show might be called Terrified of Twenty-Five, but it made everyone, old and young, laugh till their belly ached, and secretly cry into their handkerchiefs.
Honestly, it felt like a mirror in our faces, forcing us to confront our truths, while we felt safe in the warm embrace of the darkness and Jhansi’s brilliant words and music.
Strangers in tears hugging her after the end of each show, people messaging her days later, to speak of revelations that they applied in their lives, to guests in shock “How did you know my story. This is MY story”, we saw it all.
I guess… it is OUR story. We humans, who like to think of ourselves as alone in our suffering, our anxieties and our hopes. This musical proved this for sure. We are not alone, and we are SEEN.
Jhansi saw us. And she created this incredible rollercoaster of a musical. If the purpose of art is to heal, well, this show completed its purpose and some more.
About Jhansi (Tanvi Rajgarhia):
Our homegrown Kolkata girl, Jhansi, trained at Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore, getting her BA in Musical Theatre Performance.
She is determined to establish western Broadway style musicals in India, by telling OUR OWN stories. Talk about us, our challenges, our society, our people, while using this incredible art form. Not to mention, entertain the heck out of you.
She began her writing journey with Broadway style political parodies https://bit.ly/3v15fVT , moving on to bigger pieces of music storytelling at festivals and shows to much online appreciation, Mama, Chai? (Online Kommune): https://bit.ly/3v4GIiR
“If you have ever had a dream that you could not fulfill, I wrote this show for you. Aaja dost, bond karte hain.” Says Jhansi.
She was even on a Netflix show, Queens of Comedy, where she was the only music comedian competing. Now she is writing full scale musicals, such as the one you are invited to.
After the premier of Terrified of Twenty-Five, Jhansi is off to New York City to audition for the second round of the merit based, prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where she has been asked to come audition as a lyricist finalist.
Terrified of how quickly you are getting older? You must watch this Show !