Pakistan’s young heartthrob Ahmed Shah and his brother Abu Bakr, who have garnered millions of followers and views online for their viral videos, made their much-awaited stage debut at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023), on Sunday, enthralling hundreds in the highly acclaimed comedy production Akbar the Great Nahi Rahe (Akbar is no more ‘The Great’).
The special rendition of the popular play by the Bazm-e-Urdu group left the audience in splits with the young protagonists – Ahmed as the mighty Mughal emperor and Abu Bakr as the emperor’s brother Mirza Mohammed Hakim – and director Dr M Sayeed Alam of the Pierrot’s Troupe from India raising the bar with their comic timing.
The play, that revolves around an existential afterlife crisis faced by the Mughal emperor Akbar in his utopian abode called Burj Al Swarg (Tower of Heaven) and the dilemma by those around him whether to continue addressing him as The Great, has entertained thousands over the years with hundreds of stagings since its debut in India in 2019.
The narrative – specially curated in Hindi, Urdu and traces of English for the audience of the SCRF – takes a satirical approach to many contentious thoughts and ideologies that reflect contemporary India in the 21st century, over four hundred years after Akbar’s reign, when the greatness of many key historical figures including Akbar himself have come under the scanner.
The play opens with Akbar meeting emperors Ashoka and Alexander with their suffix of The Great firmly established for all three. But as they assess, along with Alauddin Khalji who ruled the Delhi sultanate in the 13th, whether Akbar indeed is worthy of his title, the plot thickens.
India’s former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee also adds to the unfolding drama with his characteristic take on the whole situation. Akbar then spends most of the time trying to fight eviction from Burj Al Swarg by holding on to his ‘greatness’ with references from Bollywood and Mughal history – much of what, he says, are today erased.
The 90-minute show also saw young Ahmed and Abu Bakr – dressed in regal attire – take the stage twice, introducing Akbar to the audience with pop quizzes on the emperor.
Tom Hanks recalls working for Cher when he was bellman at hotel
Washington [US], December 4 (ANI): American actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks recalled working for singer and actor Cher and recalled delivering a bag to Cher’s room while she was with one of her rock-and-roll husbands.
He recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show with Cher, Julia Roberts, and Timothee Chalamet, and regaled the audience with a story about his days working at a hotel in the 1970s, reported People.
“I have worked for Cher. I was a bellman at the Oakland Hilton Hotel,” he began, prompting a surprised “No!” from the “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer, 77.
“You were with one of your rock-and-roll husbands, and we had your bag. And then word came down, ‘Hey, run this up to Cher’s room,’ so I did,” Hanks continued. “I knocked on the door and I put it down and you came out and said, ‘Yeah, that’s it. Thanks, kid.’ And that was it.””So I have worked for Cher,” he added, surmising that their brief interaction occurred sometime in 1975 or 1976.
According to People, at that time, Cher was in a much-publicized relationship with Allman Brothers Band frontman Gregg Allman, whom she married in June 1975.
During the stars’ talk show appearance, Hanks had high praise for Cher, who admitted during the conversation that she isn’t “a big Cher fan” herself and doesn’t like to watch her own films or listen to her own music. “You’re missing out,” the Elvis star told her.
“Motion picture perfection — Mamma Mia! 2,” he raved of the 2018 film in which Cher played the role of Ruby Sheridan. “When she busts out ‘Fernando,’ the world stops. Suns clash with the stars. It’s perfection!”Chalamet, 27, and Roberts, 56, then joined in with their favourite Cher flicks — Moonstruck and Silkwood — prompting Hanks to offer a group movie session. “I think we should all go to the theater and watch Cher’s movies right now,” he said.
“Let’s have a Cher-a-thon!” Roberts enthusiastically declared.
According to a video posted on Roberts’ stylist Elizabeth Stewart’s Instagram page, Hanks, Cher, and Roberts posed for a series of hilarious shots backstage at the concert. In one photo, the trio stood with their arms around each other, smiling for the camera.
Hanks’ recollection of his time as a porter comes after he recently stated that he would take on food service duties in exchange for a spot on a future moon mission.
“I would like to be the guy in charge of serving food and making jokes to and from the moon,” Hanks told The Telegraph in September while promoting his new immersive exhibition, The Moonwalkers, in London.
“If there was room, I would be the guy that cleans up, makes jokes, tells stories and keeps everybody entertained.””I’m your man. I would probably sign up right now!” Hanks continued. “That might be a good idea, I’ll do all the work. I’ll clean the toilet. I’ll serve the food. I’ll fold clothes. I’ll stow the gear. That way the others could be free to do other stuff,” reported People. (ANI)
Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi surprise fans at NH7 Weekender
Pune (Maharashtra) [India], December 4 (ANI): Actors Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Adarsh Gourav recently attended the NH7 Weekender 2023 music festival in Pune, where they performed their song ‘Do Jo Hota Hai’ from their upcoming film ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ live in front of audiences.
Pictures and videos from the gala have been doing the rounds on the internet. Take a lookAn ode to the carefree essence of youth, ‘Hone Do Jo Hota Hai’, in its melodic concoction brews a cup of warm feelings for the listeners. OAFF and Savera’s music is blended perfectly with Lothika’s vocals and compliments Savera’s breezy voice. The lyrics, which weave the music together, have been penned to action by veteran Javed Akhtar.
Speaking of ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a ‘coming-of-digital-age’ story about three friends in their mid-20s navigating life in the world of social media.
Set in Mumbai, this refreshing narrative of three friends is brought to life by the debutant director Arjun Varain Singh and the creative forces, known for exploring different facets of friendship, Excel Entertainment’s Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar in collaboration with Tiger Baby’s Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar.
‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ chronicles the lives of Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Ahana (Ananya Panday) and Neil (Adarsh Gourav), through the very relatable journey of three best friends together navigating aspirations, relationships and emotions.
Bringing their infectious energy from reel to real, the young and dynamic cast helped turn a wall on the bustling street in Mumbai into a vibrant mural, capturing their friendship and inviting the crowds to join their journey as they kicked off the promotions for the film.
‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is set to arrive on December 26 on Netflix. (ANI)
Emily Blunt shares how ‘The Office’ fans react when they spot her with John Krasinski
Washington [US], December 4 (ANI): The popular sitcom ‘The Office’ may have ended more than a decade ago but that doesn’t mean fans of the NBC comedy are over the relationship between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer).
On the latest episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt, admitted fans aren’t always happy to see her out with her 13-year-old husband and they yell at her, reported People.
‘The Office’ is an American sitcom television series that follows the daily lives of office workers at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch. It ran on NBC for nine seasons, from March 24, 2005, until May 16, 2013.
‘The Office’s original cast included Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and BJ Novak; however, the ensemble cast changed frequently throughout the series’ existence. Outside of the core cast, notable actors include Ed Helms, Rashida Jones, Amy Ryan, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, James Spader, Ellie Kemper, and Catherine Tate.
“Do you know how many people still yell out, ‘I wish you were with Pam!’ like when I’m walking next to him?” Blunt, 40, shared. “‘Where’s Pam?’ I’m like, ‘She’s not here!'”When asked if she had met Fischer, she replied, “She’s the best. She’s one of our dearest friends. We love Jenna.”Fischer, 49, acknowledged in 2020 that she finds it difficult to explain to fans that she and Krasinski, 44, are only former on-screen lovers on ‘An Oral History of The Office’.
“People don’t know how John and I are not a couple in real life,” Fischer told host Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin Malone on the series at the time. “They don’t understand it.”During the nine seasons of ‘The Office,’ Jim and Pam flirted, dated, broke up, reconciled, married, had two children, and eventually relocated from Scranton to Austin, Texas.
“I don’t know how to explain it, because it’s a little bit like telling kids there’s no Santa,” she added.
Fischer explained that she feels like she has to “justify” why she and Krasinski aren’t “actually in love.” Krasinski has been married to Blunt since 2010, while Fischer tied the knot to writer and director Lee Kirk the same year. She was previously married to James Gunn from 2000 to 2008.
On ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen’, the actress previously acknowledged her on-screen connection with Krasinski.
“Oh, John and I have real chemistry,” she shared. “There’s like a real part of me that is Pam and a real part of him that’s Jim, and those parts of us were genuinely in love with one another.”However, Krasinski clarified that his former costar’s words were misconstrued. “I think that was wildly misquoted or taken out of context,” Krasinski told The Daily Beast at the time.
“I’m sure she was trying to say something nice about how genuine the acting relationship was–of bringing a relationship that became that popular onscreen – and I think we both feel it’s such an honour to be a part of that relationship,” reported People. (ANI)