This past weekend Chicago was abuzz about the latest musical sensation to come out of the city, “Sita Ram.” More than 1,400 guests were on hand for the red carpet opening night of “Sita Ram,” on December 14th. Held at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, “Sita Ram” is an incredible musical that was made possible through a collaboration between The Children’s Choir, the amazing Natya Dance Theatre and the Lookingglass Theatre Company. Three heavyweights working together to retell the sacred Hindu Love Story, “Ramayana.”
The Artistic Director of the Lookingglass Theatre, David Kersnar, wrote the musical with Grammy-nominated Jai Uttal developing a score that reflects the cultural diversity of Chicago and the world in general. Commissioned by Chicago Children’s Choir President Josephine Lee, David Kersnar has churned out what some are already calling an instant classic. Below Kersnar describes the show in his own words:
“The story behind ‘Sita Ram’ is just as exciting as the action adventure ‘Star Wars,’ has just as much love in it as Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and is as popular in East Asia as Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ is in Western culture. It tells the tale of how all the world’s creatures lie down their differences and come together for a common goal.”
The show is impressive in not only how good it is but also the sheer size of the production. Nearly two hundred performers tell the story through seven scenes using song, dance and drama with fashion and design playing a major part. Designer Azeeza Desai Khan, of the label Atelier AZZA, put her high-fashion expertise to use in the amazing pieces created for the show. Khan was a fashion superwoman creating 1,000 couture pieces and overseeing 30 costume changes throughout the musical. What’s even more impressive is that not one single outfit was repeated.
Prior to the show VIP guests were treated to a pre-party cocktail reception catered by Sugar Hills Bakery, Cattier Champagne and Purus vodka. The VIPs also got Indian-inspired costume jewelry and transportation to the after-party at Embeya. At Embeya, guests and cast mingled and just basked in the excitement of a very successful opening night. It will be interesting to see what’s next for “Sita Ram,” I have no doubt it’s going to be huge.
Photography by Marcin Cymmer and Tyler Curtis