Kuwait City, Nov 3: Having a show in a foreign land itself is great and awesome. And Shahu Almeida shows are always stylish and funfare, he brings diverse innovation and entertainment.
The beauty of Shahu’s musical ‘SODANCH JIVO URTOLO’ staged in Kuwait on October 21 at the Indian Community Hall in Salmiya was the collective effort of the Maestro, artistes, and like-minded Goans who supported a stage-show in Kuwait after almost 3 years post Covid.
Every song, every comedy was applauded, and people went home happy, leaving their worries!
In a way, the audience was quite sizeable given life has been hard-hit by the pandemic during which many lost jobs, homes and lives.
Everyone was immersed joyfully in the entertainment right upto the end, and even waited to sing congratulations to Maestro Shahu who celebrated his wedding anniversary on the day.
It was a delight to see such lovely, encouraging people in the audience including some stars, but strangely enough many outspoken Konkani tiatrists who were not part of the show, stayed home to peep through the holes, and some still had the audacity to comment indiscreet nonsense.
The show began with the blessings of St Francis Xavier in a ‘scene-scenery’ specially arranged by visiting Londonkar Simon Gonsalves, a popular star among Kuwaitkars, well admired for his magnanimous stagecraft.
Simon’s legacy as the king of modern-day ‘scene-sceneries’ was reinforced once again when he showed St Francis Xavier rising on top of a crumbling bungalow that depicted the ongoing controversy at Old Goa.
A regular feature of Shahu’s shows is the singing of ‘St. Francis Xavier ‘orasanv’ at the beginning where the whole audience sings in reverence to the patron saint.
Music for the show was devised and directed by Shahu Almeida alongwith trumpeter Faustin Menezes, Lennon D’Silva (Rhythm Guitar), and Legend Goan base-guitarist in Kuwait Dennis Gonsalves.
The music was quite harmonious. It was good to hear the pleasant combination of Shahu and Faustin on the keyboards and trumpet respectively.
Young drummer-boy Aerosmith Almeida, Shahu’s son, dazzled with the band; he was highly fluent given his age and a one-off show.
The artistes were all incredible and well-rehearsed.
Opening chorus of the show was sung by the shining new girl in town Michelle Rebello, Clemmie Almeida and Gasper Crasto.
Michelle mesmerized everyone with her power-packed voice, and glamorous presence. Performing first time in front of the Kuwait audience, Michelle was as melodious as a nightingale and glorious as a queen.
The visiting stars from UK, and Kuwait’s own gave their best singing solos, duets, trios & quartets.
Each and every singer exhibited top performance, singing with confidence and clarity, putting their heart and soul into their performance.
London stars Polly de Curtorim, Princewell Fernandes, Babit de Zuari, Laurente Pereira, Simon Gonsalves, Emeliano de Borda, Valencio de Caranzalem, Comedian Socorro & Comedian Costy, all lived up to expectations.
Comedian Costy & Comedian Soccor along-with Kuwait-based livewire Bunu de Areal were able to create a laugh riot with their jokes and costumes, with an additional comedy solo by Comedy Soccor that people thoroughly enjoyed.
Local line-up of artistes included Michelle Rebello, Clemmie Almeida, Esparansa, Gasper Crasto, Seby D'Silva, Simon-Olinda Dias, Valanka Fernandes and Comedian Bunu de Areal.
The Londonkars were quite impressive; they came up with a variety of songs.
Legendary star Emeliano de Borda, who has shared the stage with stalwarts like Alfred Rose, C. Alvares, Prem Kumar, etc, in his illustrious career, sang a meaningful song on his own life.
Babit de Zuari, through his song Jugar had a message on the evils of gambling which has become a menace with many youths.
Well-known artiste Laurent Pereira sang a touching song on our newly ordained Devacho Tarok - Cardinal Gracias, while famed star Polly de Curtorim sang too had a devout message in his song Devak Vengoi.
Simon Gonsalves sang a pleasant, melodious song called Luvnni.
But the stage was set alight by powerful, rocking solos by Valencio de Caranzalem (a love song), Princewell Fernandes (about Goa & Goans), and Kuwait’s Michelle Rebello (on Goa). They were amazing.
Little Valanka Fernandes was fluent as usual with her song Modern Bhurgim – dancing to the beat during the interludes.
Comedian Succor drove the audience to peals of laughter with some sexy lyrics on catchy and famous tunes.
Duo sung by Seby D’Silva & Gasper Crasto on football, accompanied by little Fayne & Shayne Fernandes turned out to be a treat to watch.
Duet songs were by Simon and Olinda (Devachem Besanv), Laurente & Clemmie (Nirmollponn) Esparansa-Gasper Crasto (Air-hostess & Pilot), which were quite catchy.
Michelle Rebello and Clemmie sang a duo which was decent and melodious. Polly de Curtorim and Emeliano de Borda sang on Queen Elizabeth.
Valencio de Caranzalem, Princewell and Seby D’Silva sang an heart-wrenching trio on late thespian of Konkani stage Cajetan de Sanvordem who was fondly remembered.
The lone quartet of the show was wonderfully sung by Simon Gonsalves, Babit, Laurente and Princewell.
Infact all the songs were well applauded with the audience showing their love and admiration to everything that was presented.
The show winded up with a medley of old songs performed by the artistes in fashionable, modern or traditional clothing.
The comedians entertained the audience with their witty dialogues. Every joke enacted was well enjoyed by the audience.
Bunu de Areal teamed with the stars; he was a hilarious entertainer as well. He was thoroughly relished by the audience as much he is admired on social media esp on Facebook.
Prominent Goan in Kuwait Carmo Santos was the chief guest. He spoke on the occasion and complimented Maestro Shahu for organizing the show single-handedly in these trying times.
Another dynamic Goan, Fidelis Fernandes, was the guest of honor.
During the break, all artistes were presented with specially crafted mementos by the director Shahu Almeida.
As a special mention, Cheslee D’Souza (Sound & Lights), Rivon Gomes (Photographer), Felix Fernandes & Jeff Almeida (Videography), young artistes Fayne and Shayne Fernandes were presented with a memento too for their involvement in the show.
Earlier, compere Gasper Crasto introduced the guests. Bouquets of flowers were presented to the guests at the hands of Acacia Almeida, Maestro Shahu’s daughter.
Once again, Maestro Shahu lived up to his reputation as an entertainer of quality.
Ever since his arrival in Kuwait back in 1999, the humble musician has been in limelight for his electrifying music which has become synonymous with Goans. Without a doubt, he remains Goa’s flag bearer for musical showbiz in Kuwait; he has maintained his peak for the last many years.
‘SODANCH JIVO URTOLO’ was Maestro Shahu’s 8th musical. His past shows, some of them staged in other parts of the Gulf and UK as well, are as follows:
2011 - Tiatrist
2013 – Goencho Rakhonddar
2016 - Tiatristponn Devachem Dennem
2017 – Tumkanch Lagon Ami
2018 – Konknni Machiechi Seva
2019 – Ugddas Dovrun Ghele
2021 – Ixtta Ugddas Tuzo (Online Show)
2022 – Sodanch Jivo Urtolo
A minutes’ silence was observed to respect the souls of some prominent tiatrists who passed away recently; departed artistes and other personalities who were based in Kuwait were also remembered.
At the beginning, Maestro Shahu started the traditional warm-up ‘tokkad’ music playing the saxophone with the band.
DJ Cheslee D’Souza provided sound; the stage-sets were arranged by Rex Estibeiro. The whole event was captured on camera by popular Goan photographer Rivon Gomes.
The flyer of the show was designed by Simon Dias.
A number of friends and well-wishers assisted and supported the show.
In a running slideshow on screen, Maestro Shahu profoundly thanked all those who supported him. The housie prize was offered by Betty and Victor Fernandes.