'Made for Stage' enthrals audience

KARACHI - Art, whether it is in the form of acting, dancing or playing live music, is a treat for all the musical theatre lovers which was held here the other night. The members of the American Voices Foundation (AVF) and Nida Butts famed theatre company 'Made for Stage productions did brilliant pieces. From 'The Broadway Musicals like 'Grease, the famed 1972 music by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, made headlines when it showcased in a movie by the same name in 1978 with the lead actors of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. 'Les Miserables, which dealt with the aftermaths of French Revolution, was first premiered in 1980 in France. It made headlines once it was performed in 1987 in NYC famed Broadway Theatre. Finally, 'Hairspray a 1988 movie, which only made to Broadway in 2002. This musical theatre revolves around a teenager, who plans to pursue stardom as a dancer. 'American Voices was represented by John Ferguson who played the piano and Michael Parks Masterson performed on many other musical notes. Likewise 'Rain, 'Sailing, from the musical A New Brain; 'Shes a Woman from Kiss of a Spiderwoman; 'Nothing like it from South Pacific, 'Anthem from another musical Chess, 'Route 66 and 'River in the Rain from The Big River. The audience was spell bound by the brilliant performance by the actors on stage; Masterson himself took the lead and performed in 'Hairspray with rest of the cast members. American Voices, as an institution, is a strong believer in collaborating and fostering cultural dialogue between the US and the nations emerging from cultural isolation. Since its formation, the group and its various other members have performed in over 110 countries around the world in 16 years. The group first came to Pakistan in 2005 and the next trip took place in 2007 and now in 2010. The three-member delegation includes John Ferguson, a pianist and the groups Executive Director; Michael Parks Masterson a performer, director, and choreographer in the United States and Japan. Carole Hanna McCann has a strong theatrical background with a diversified liberal arts education giving a very special flavour to her teaching of the performing arts. Masterson was of the view that he extensively enjoyed his trip to Pakistan and would love to come back again, whereas on behalf of the 'Made for Stage performers; Nida Butt, the companys CEO and a young Kennedy Centre fellow, also shared her thoughts. She said that her performers gained invaluable experience from the American Voices and she certainly had no idea to perform to such this good extent. The concert was organised by Elizbeth OColton, public affairs officer at the US Consulate, Karachi. She played a phenomenal role in bringing the American Voices group to Pakistan. The performance took place at Pakistan American Cultural Centre.