Loretta Play Review: Loretta- Go..A for It!

The Tiatr setting
Loretta. The papers described it as a goan play based on the popular Tiatr form. Ab Theatre toh suna tha, but yeh ‘Theater mein Tiatr’ pehli baar sun raha tha. Googled  and found out that this Tiatr is a type of musical theatre popular in the state of Goa since colonial days, the  language mainly being Konkani. The drama consists of 6 or 7 acts called pordhe . The acts are interspersed by songs which need not be directly linked to the content or the issues of the main drama. There are 2 or 3 songs between each of the acts. In case you find that too much to comprehend, guess for the lesser mortals one can say,these are like Nautanki fillers! Short and maybe not so sweet for some but definitely effective!
Goa, with its free flowing culture and charm, always  lifts up your spirit in more ways than one. Now a goan charm combined with this folk or Tiatr style of storytelling, was a potent cocktail. So decided to give it a shot over the weekend. Now a shot in Goa will have a different meaning depending on whom you are talking to. Anyways before venturing into details and getting this article censored let’s stick to the main dope, I mean play review.
Language is nothing but a pure form of human expression. What is its importance if it can’t help us communicate. It’s just a facilitator for humans to come close and that’s about it. Just not worth giving it more importance than us, isn’t it?  And where is it found? In the books or the grammer texts or in the simplest of words,songs and sounds that echo amongst the common folk that touch your heart ? The later I guess, is where the answer lies. Sunil Shanbaug through this musical Tiatr of Loretta drives home this simple point, quite grammatically, I mean dramatically!
My bad luck. Coudn’t get a goan beauty to accompany me so had to settle for a beauty from a different geographical location of India. But a beauty nevertheless! That’s why i love our country. There is so much potential everywhere. Bharat mata ki Jai! Jokes apart it was her birthday just a couple of days back  and since we coudn’t meet up that day, had planned this day out as a return gift. After all what can you give a girl who can afford diamonds, only priceless memories.  Was smart enough to figure that out and if it kept the friendly spirits soaring, so be it!
Right from the entrance to the waiting hall, the mood was spot on. Goan music, folks songs and goan food stalls dominated the proceedings. The singer was good and she definitely got the tempo going before the show began. Set in an old goan town on an island in Barthemelow the plot opens on the life of Mr Antonio Moraes(Abhijit Bhoir), more popularly called Konkani Moraes, because of his fanatical obsession towards the Konkani language. Being a landlord he wields enough clout amongst most folk on the Island. He is determined in his objective to keep the culture and the language on the island pure and from this obsession of his, stems up his decision to keep the island secluded. If that means the only way to reach is through a ferry , so be it.
Enter his son Rafael (Satvic)with his live-in partner Loretta(Rozzlin Pereira) . Rafael is back not to spend time in his village or with his father but for his own selfish reasons of wanting a job in Portugal, for which he needs a Portuguese passport.Easily available to Goans. Antonio aware of this is least excited when he sees his son back. But what strikes him is Loretta and her love for everything Konkani. In love with everything that the island has to offer, from its fields to the trees, to its people and their dialect, Loretta feels she has found true home on this island.  Her morning wake up call is the song of the toddy tapper Miguel(Kailash Waghmare ) . Her interactions with the paowala Pedro (Shailesh Hemjadi) and the fisher woman Audu( Shilpa Sane ) keep her day occupied. And then there is the ever reliable Caitu (Danish Husain) , Man-Friday to Moraes, now transformed into Ms.Bai  Loretta’s best friend, who lights up the stage with a meaty role scene after scene.
Rafael wants to go but Loretta wants to stay for as long as she wants. Moraes throws a challenge – learn the language of the island to stay on the island or else go back to where you came from. Loretta takes it up and thus begins her sincere effort to learn Konkani. With her buddy Caitu in tow along with Audu, Pedro and Miguel what begins next is a roller coaster ride of music and emotions. Whether she manages to come clean in this test and how her relations with the other protagonists evolve, then forms the crux of the play.
The casting is spot on and all the actors enact their roles well. The live music and the Tiatr acts by Asif Ali Baig and one even by the director Sunil Shanbaug keep you well entertained. What you take back is a memorable evening and maybe some words of Konkani .
Apart from Loretta, played with sincerity and liveliness by Rozzlin and Caitu ,portrayed with a flair by Danish ,the characters of the pint sized dynamo fisherwoman Audu and the toddy tapper Miguel ,whose body language is mastered by Waghmare stay with you even after the show. In Audu’s case the scene where she blushes on hearing Rafael’s  praise for her  is priceless. In Waghmare’s case his own physique is priceless! One look and you know he is the toddy tapper or your very own neighborhood friendly…nariyal pani wala. So much for spiderman i say!
Enjoyed the show and it is definitely a different experience. My partner-in-crime for the evening also liked it, which was pretty much evident in her almost ‘man-like’ laughter on a couple of occasions during the show. For all those speculating more on what happened after it, well we went our ways which just goes to show that Loretta can be safely enjoyed with kids too! The content is absolutely generic with just a 'blink and you miss' peck towards the end. For other outcomes well there are different kinds of plays. But we’ll get to that some other day.
Till then go for this Taitr whenever you find it playing at a theater near you. Konkani or no Konkani, go for it for the love of Goa, go for Loretta!


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