Kuwait, Sep 14: Ben Evangelisto, unquestionably, is one of the most famous comedians of our times to have donned the Goan Konkani stage. The Benaulim-based actor regularly has the audience in peals of laughter during his performances.
Ben has done a variety of comedy roles, he is well-known to imitate a number of famous personalities – from Jacinto Vaz to Remo to Michael Jackson to Bob Marley – the list is endless.
In one of his famous acts, he was attired in Michael Jackson's trade-mark black outfit, white socks, white gloves, black shades, and hat, there was instantaneous applause. At his mimicry of Jackson's movements, and his belting out the Konkani version of Jacko's pop hit 'Black or White', the applause was relentless. It was as if the King of Pop himself was on stage.
Ben's Early Years:
Ben’s talent for acting was first discovered by the Franciscan Brothers when he was a young boarder at St Anthony’s, Duler. He would write short plays in Konkani and English. Ben’s English play ‘Goa Today’ dealing with drug addiction was performed at his school gathering and was well appreciated. Ben took his first steps in tiatr when Mini Mario introduced him as a child artiste in ‘Adim Tum, AtamHanv’.
Following this, his dream to act for Rosario Rodrigues came true when he was cast in ‘Hanv Kallokant Sandlim’ and later for three other shows. Roseferns then picked him for ‘Beiman Tum’ and later ‘Xinxe’, in which he enacted the role of a grandmother (‘Xamaim’). The role of Xamaim has been Ben’s speciality and many directors asked him to do it. Ben is happy that he was the one to introduce this character and is thrilled that this role is enacted by so many new actors today.
After performing for John D’Silva and other directors, Ben joined Mario Menezes and performed for many seasons. ‘Mhoji Maim, MhojiDusman’ and ‘Sangat Ami BhurgimKonnachi?’ were two of the classics by this director that he acted in.
Ben’s own dramas include ‘Kidd’, which was also staged in London, the big hit ‘Chondrim’ that displayed a waterfall in the setting, ‘Pez’, and ‘DevakZaiZalear’. Ben also presented ‘To AmkamVisorlo’ written by Jacinto Vaz and played the late comedian’s role to the hilt. When the late M Boyer classic, ‘SounsarSudorlo’ was staged again by Anil Kumar, he did it again. The audience felt that Jacinto Vaz was back on stage. Ben also performed with Lorna in musical shows in London, Paris and Lisbon. He also brought in Nephie Rod to sing in his tiatr.
A trauma that is now a past:
The tiatrist fraternity were in a state of shock when Ben Evangelisto suffered a mild stroke whilst performing on stage for an afternoon show at the Ravindra Bhavan on December 11, 2012.
He was in the midst of a performance when he collapsed. Ben was immediately rushed to a hospital in Margao and admitted to the ICU for treatment. After 3 days in the ICU, he was kept under observation for a few days more and got discharged on December 16 after he showed remarkable improvement from the stroke. Ben went on to make his comeback in ‘Goy, Goykar, Goykarponn by Mariano Fernandes and soon released his own tiatr, ‘Utt Ani Chol’ based on his life, his sickness, and the mighty power of God.
Married to Sibila from Ribandar, herself an award-winning singer at Kala Academy Tiatr Competitions. The couple are blessed with two children – a son and a daughter.
Ben to star on the OTT platform:
Ben will be singing with his daughter Ben Cecilia in Maestro Shahu Almeida’s musical show, a musical tribute to late Cajetan de Sanvordem, set to be premiered on the OTT platform - YouTube, soon. The show directed by Shahu Almeida with full-on entertainment for the global Goans comprises of a number of superstars from Goa, Kuwait and London.
Artistes that will perform in the show include Prince Jacob, Comedian Ben Evangelisto, Rons Tavares, Meena Goes, AmreshKamat, Ben Cecilia and Alias Fernandes from Goa. Simon Gonsalves, Laurente Pereira, Babit D’Souza, Polly de Curtorim, Bab Agnel – all from UK, and Rafael de Macasana from Cayman Islands. Gracy Rodrigues, Clemmie Almeida, Simon Dias, Olinda Dias, Gasper Crasto and Esparansa, SebyD’Silva, Sucorina Fernandes, Seby Mascarenhas, Valanka Fernandes and Acacia Almeida -- from Kuwait
Musicians of the show:
Music for the show is provided by Shahu Almeida and his band boys comprising of Lennon D'Silva, Dennis Gonsalves & drummer-boy Aerosmith Almeida.
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