Cultural delights to sweeten your weekend

Theatre spectacles and musical odysseys arejust what the doctor has ordered to beat away the summer blues

You know its summertime when you walk awaywith second-degree burns at the mere touch of your steering wheel. Okay, maybeI exaggerate a tad, but you know the rising mercury means it is time to cooloff indoors.

So what better way to enjoy this weekendthen by revelling in the cooler climes of the air conditioning and settling inwith some hot events? We have it all here, the lowdown the gigs and thetheatrical delights that promise a packed diary over the next three days. Enjoy!

Maroon 5 Live at Dubai World Trade Centre

April 21

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Grammy Award winning American rock bandMaroon 5 is returning to Dubai for yet another performance that promises to bejust as power packed as their previous outing here in 2008.

Since debuting in 2002, Maroon 5 have soldover 10 million albums in the United States and nearly 15 million worldwide.

With their latest studio album “Hands AllOver” being all the rage, the tracklist to expect at their Dubai concertincludes songs such as “Misery” and “Give a Little More.” However, this doesn’tmean their other hits including “Harder to Breathe”, “This Love”, “She Will BeLoved” and “Sunday Morning” won’t be heard.

Capturing their first of two Grammys asBest New Artist of 2005, Maroon 5 won plaudits with the hybrid rock/R&Bsound they introduced on their debut album “Songs About Jane”.

Four years later, their sophomoreeffort, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long”, hit stores, with a soundsexier, stronger and even lyrically darker than before.

Their latest album “Hands All Over” hasbeen described as “a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk and R&B.”

The boys, including Adam Levine (leadvocals and rhythm guitar), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards, rhythm guitar and backingvocals), Mickey Madden (bass guitar), James Valentine (lead guitar, backing vocals)and Matt Glynn (drums, percussion) sat down to write this album after windingdown from a world tour in support of their previous album, “It Won’t Be SoonBefore Long.”

Dubai-based rock band Juliana Down willopen for the Los Angeles musical stars.

“We are really excited to have Maroon5 backin Dubai, they really stole the show in 2008 and we are very much lookingforward to having them rock once again. I am thrilled that we are able tosupport local up-and-coming talent by having one of the UAE’s best local bandsopen up for the international superstars.

“This is going to be an exciting night andwe can’t wait to see all their UAE and Middle Eastern fans be a part of this,”says Kelly Haechler, Event Manager at Live Nation Middle East, organisers ofthe show.
 
Tickets are available for Dh275 and Dh350. Doorsopen 7pm, show starts 9pm. Call: 04 427 8166

Dollywood Musical Fungama at Chi@The Lodge

April 21

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We admit, the event name threw us for asixer the first time we read it, but in retrospect, who cares about the namewhen the star power is so promising.

Asian music enthusiasts will certainly notsee such an opportunity often when some of the UK’s biggest acts will collidewith talented names from Pakistan’s music industry.

Stereo Nation, Juggy D, Junoon’s Ali Azmat,and local boy Jahan zaib Mughal will all take to the stage for a night toremember.

Stereo Nation’s Taz is already a hugesuccess on the Asian charts in the UK with tracks such as “Oh Carol” and“Laila”. The artiste is considered one of the pioneers in bringing fusionIndo-western music to the world and will most certainly rock the house downwith song such as “Thoda Daru Vich”, “It’s Magic” and “Guleh Lagja”.

Another British act joining on stage willbe Juggy D, who burst onto the scene with “Nahin Jeena” in 2002, joining handswith the super talented Bally Sagoo and the Rishi Rich Procject.

However, it was his collaboration with Jay Sean that made him a household name, with “Nachna Tere Naal” releasing a yearlater to garner a large crossover fan following.

Since, Juggy D has gone from hit to hit,and even featuring in Bollywood tracks with “U and I” (“Hum Tum”), along with“Balle Balle” (“Bride and Prejudice”).

The third big name is a legend in Pakistanwith decades of hit songs and legions of fans across the globe. The man inquestion is none other than Ali Azmat, the lead vocalist of Junoon, the bandthat gave us hits such as “Khudi”, “Sayoni”, “Dosti”, “Pappu Yaar” and many,many more.

If you are a ‘Junooni” (a name for fans ofthe sufi band), this is one concert you simply cannot miss.

Doors for the event open at 9.30pm, withthe artistes taking to the stage shortly after. Tickets are priced at Dh125.Call: 050 282 7201

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School, Dubai

April 21

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Remember her? The coy, shy girl who createda sensation back in 1989 when she starred opposite the then almost unknown Salman Khan in the smash hit Bollywood film, “Maine Pyar Kiya”?

Yup, the very same Bhagyashree, who triedand failed to light up the silverscreen ever again, is now 42 and ready toreturn to the limelight, only this time on the stage.

The actress is set to make her theatredebut with the play “Mujhse Shaadi Karoge”, having teamed up with TV actorAkshay Anand and newcomer Kruttika in the play about a married guy whofantasies about an upcoming dancer.
 
The play is written and produced by PrairnaAgarwal and directed by Navin Kumar.

Few know that Bhagyashree had actually startedher acting journey with Amol Palekar’s television serial “Kachhi Dhoop”.

After “Maine Pyar Kiya”, she was apparentlyflooded with film offers but had conditioned that she would only work with herhusband, Himalaya. But the duo couldn’t repeat the success of her first filmwith a string of flops called “Qaid Main Hai Bulbul”, “Tyagi” and “Payal”. 

She finally quit films and after a gap madea comeback on television with “Aandhi Jasbaton Ki”, followed by “Didi Ka Dulha”.

If you want to catch her life, head over to the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium,Indian High School, Dubai at 9pm. Organised by Signature Events, tickets rangebetween Dh60 and Dh350. Call: 04 337 3724

Amar Ya Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah

April23

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Look who’s back once again. Yes, our very favourite Elissa returns to Dubai’ssunny shores for yet another concert, this time with Joseph Attieh and Khaleejisinger Salman Hameed.
 
Elissa, the Lebanese sensation is arguablyone of the bestselling female artistes the Arab world has ever seen, with threeWorld Music Awards in her name.

Although she is as famous onscreen as sheis off it – who can forget her famous feuds with Haifa Wehbe, Amal Hijazi andNawal Al Zoghbi – there is no denying her immense talent, especially since sheis one of the handful Arab singers who has successfully collaborated with namessuch as Chris DeBurgh, The Gipsy Kings, Cheb Mami and Ragheb Alama.

In comparison, Lebanese heartthrob Attiehhas a long way to go to achieve the fame, but he is on the right path, or hasbeen since winning the third season of Star Academy Lebanon, a reality musicshow, in 2005.

His hit singles include “La Trouhi” and“Nahlé”.

The show will kick off at 9pm on Saturday,which is being held at Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Tickets start atDh250 and go up to Dh1,500; it’s been organised by Wenass Exhibitions. Call: 050152 9876

Maran Opranth and Matadin Chaand Par: Two Hindi plays at DUCTAC

April 21 and 22

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The theatre culture in Dubai is on the riseand amateur group Backstage is lending a hand to the movement with the upcomingperformances, “Maran Opranth” and “Inspector Matadin Chand Par”.

The two Hindi plays will be staged on April21 and 22, which will see Gagan Mudgal, local RJ play the lead actor.

“Marn Opranth” delves deep into the humanmind and looks at emotions and relationships. A death brings two men togetheronly to discover that they were in love with the same person.

“Inspector Matadin Chaand Par” is based ona short story by the famous Hindi satirist and playwright Harishankar Parsai.When the Lunar government asks for the help of the Indian government inimproving the policing of the moon, Inspector Matadin is sent over. The playtakes a satirical look at the bureaucratic systems in India.

Backstage is a 400 member stronggroup comprising of 20 different nationalities. Members are of allages and backgrounds with vast theatrical experiences have cometogether to realise their passion for art and theatre. Till date the grouphas performed 12 plays and has managed to highlight the local talent and raiseawareness about theatre in general.

The plays will be held at DUCTAC, Mall ofthe Emirates at 5pm and 8pm on Thursday and at 4pm and 8pm on Friday.  The plays have been directed by SalminSheriff. For further information call: 050 9244160

The Sound of Music at First Group Theatre

Runningun til April 23

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The results are in: the show is already asmash hit in its weeklong run and tickets are selling out fast, so make haste.

From the producers behind the shows “Blood Brothers”, “Annie”, “High School Musical”, and “Fame”, comes the world’s most-lovedmusical.

Yes indeed, it’s the famous Von Trappfamily and Sister Maria from “The Sound of Music” as its staged in Dubai fortwo weeks only.

Featuring a cast from London’s West End,Broadway and the UAE, this is the perfect feel-good family musical.

Evening shows start at 7:30pm, withadditional matinee performances at 2:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are priced at Dh170. Seats areallocated at the time of ticketing, so the earlier you buy your tickets thebetter you seats are likely to be. Call: 04 444 3459

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