Powai played host to it’s first ever stand up comedy on16TH SEPTEMBER, 2011, thanks to the newly opened restaurant, Out of the Blue. It felt quite strange to dress up & walk down the road in my stilettos ( an accessory i usually reserve for the more sophisticated clubs outside Powai) to Haiko but then what can i say Powai was making it’s debut on the entertainment scene & i wanted to be there !

Going up the escalator, i wasn’t prepared for the crowds thronging the entrance and was secretly relieved that i’d had the sense to reserve a table else we would have been turned away ! The tables inside the restaurant had been cleared to make way for a theatre style seating in the center while the Japanese style booths & Community table on one side accommodated the spill over of guests. The place was buzzing with the anticipation of a fun filled event.

[box]The evening opened with an introduction by Ashish Shakya, engineer turned comedian, resident of Navi Mumbai, extolling the virtues of Mumbaiites over North Indians that instantly won him the audience’s approval & laughter ! Touching upon the themes of Mumbai localities, North Indians & career choices; he gradually warmed the audience for the line up of amateur artistes who were supposed to dazzle us with their wit.

Ten artistes, ranging from Gujarati to Sindhi to Goan to South Indian from different professions and age brackets (20 – 40 yrs) regaled us with their take on Mumbai & it’s strangely named localities, Fuel prices, Government & Politics, Enigmatic Women, Gujaratis, Sindhis, Traffic woes and general observations on human behavior & psyche. The audience received each one with warmth & appreciated their maiden attempts whole heartedly.

[quote]I felt that the use of profanities was excessive & unnecessary  but maybe that was their way of trying to connect with the youngsters given that they had only 2 minutes to make an impression.[/quote]

While the results were being compiled, members of the Weirdass troupe entertained us with role plays of Salman Khan, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, Mamta Banerjee & Mayawati !

[quote]While the theme of their jokes remained similar to the amateurs, it was the panache & experienced handling of the subject coupled with their straight-faced dialogue delivery that set the laughter bombs exploding ! MC-BC gaalis & sexual innuendoes abounded in their jokes, too – obviously, humour is no more simple, straightforward & heartwarming like the Hrishikesk Mukherjee movies we grew up on.[/quote]

In my opinion, if content is King, then one needn’t resort to profanities & bathroom humor to titillate the audience & elicit laughter. The silver lining was that the audience was strictly above 18 yrs ! Kudos to the team comprising of  Ashish Shakya, Tanmay Bhatt, Prabal Panjabi.[/box]

Picutres: Courtsey Out of the Blue, Powai

All in all, an entertaining, laughter filled evening (so what if your sides ached some what at the end!) coupled with the comfort of knowing you could walk back home in your tipsy state without being harassed by cops or having to deal with traffic ! For a price of Rs. 650/- per head including starters, buffet dinner & lots of laughs, total paisa vasool i’d say!

Out of the Blue Powai will have standup & improvisation every Monday hereafter.

[box type=”info”]The Review was written by Anuradha W Ramachandran. Anuradha is an English Hons graduate from Delhi University,  Having spent many years in the hotel industry organising events & selling hotels to corporate clients, she took a break to pander to home & kids. A proud resident of Hiranandani Garden for the past ten years, she looks forward to bringing this community closer by involving them in various activities & events.[/box]