Part of FringeNYC: Visit India's red light district and meet the eunuch, priest, pimp, mother and daughter who call it home. A fun and poignant look at the exotic, dangerous life of Mumbai's real-life brothels and why they exist. More…
Categories: Drama, FringeHIGH, Solo Show, Local. Written by Dipti Mehta. Directed by Mark Cirnigliaro. Sound design by Matthew Bittner. Lighting design by Jason Flamos. Costume consultant Scott Westervelt.
FROM THE ARTIST:
Award-winning actress Dipti Mehta's new solo-show, HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan comes to The 20th Annual New York Fringe Festival in August. Dipti, who was born and raised in Mumbai and currently resides in New Jersey, also stars in the show. She has numerous film and television credits including The Blacklist (NBC), and The Golden Boy (CBS). In addition to acting and writing, she also holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and works at Sloan Kettering in cancer research.
The play is directed and dramaturged by Mark Cirnigliaro who recently directed the World Premiere of The Hounds of War by Bill Holland which Broadway World called, "A must see." Monica Kapoor, who performed on Broadway for 7 years in Mamma Mia, is serving as the choreographer. The production includes original and live music by the Indian band Rhythm Tolee.
HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is collaborating with Apne Aap, an Indian organization, doing grassroots work to end sex trafficking by organizing marginalized women into small self-empowerment groups, where they work collectively to access their legal, social, economic, and political rights. www.apneaap.org
Visit India's red light district and meet the eunuch, priest, pimp, mother and daughter who call it home. A fun and poignant look at the exotic, dangerous life of Mumbai's real-life brothels and why they exist. HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is a testament to survival and pride. A mother's gift to her only daughter. "Memoirs of Geisha" meets "Slumdog Millionaire" meets Indian epic "Mahabharata" in this dark tale of pursuit of truth in modern day Mumbai.
Tickets are $18.00 and go on sale July 15th at fringenyc.org. Running time: 65 minutes. Performances take place at Venue #8, WOW Café Theatre, 59-61 East 4th Street (between Bowery & 2nd Ave.), 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003. Subways: B/D/F/M to Broadway Lafayette, F to 2nd Ave., N/R to 8th Street, 6 to Bleecker.
Show dates: Tuesday, August 16 @ 4:15 pm (followed by a talk back), Friday, August 19 @ 7:45 pm, Monday, August 22 @ 7:00 pm, Friday, August 26 @ 2:00 pm, Saturday, August 27 @ 5:00 pm.
More info is available at www.diptimehta.com and www.honourcmc.com.
“Beautiful and devastating...All five of the play’s characters are wondrously portrayed by Mehta, who uses monologue and dance to guide us through their world of plans made and deals struck. Even as it invites the audience to take a hard look at the life of sex workers, ‘Honour’ seems to stare back at us, as though to ask, ‘Hey, American, does this make you uncomfortable?’ You bet it does, and we’re the better for it.” Full Review
"While by no means does Dipti Mehta’s one-woman show shy away from the more brutal aspects of its story, it also reveals itself to be full of life, humor, and beauty. This is the show’s great triumph…Mehta effortlessly switches between numerous characters…'Honour' ably juggles tones and styles, combining heartbreaking storytelling with jokes and dance numbers...If there’s any criticism, it’s that 'Honour' is a bit long...A highly successful piece of theater." Full Review
"Mehta beautifully embodies each role…She makes her incredibly controlled performance appear spontaneous and effortless, while fully and crisply embodying the characters…Each story is skillfully crafted and connected, and Mehta gracefully transitions from one character to the other...'Honour' stirs many emotions — alternately fun, sad, touching, comedic, and entertaining — while bringing light to a serious subject matter in modern society: sex trade and the women involved." Full Review
"Dipti Mehta has put together a well-structured and authentic-feeling tale that is witty, graceful and pointed. But I’m afraid my reaction to ‘Honour’ became much more positive after getting hold of the script. I found much of the play difficult to follow as a stage show...As wonderful a performer as Mehta is, her mimicry is not her strongest skill, making it difficult at times to figure out what character she is playing." Full Review
“Mehta’s provocative one-woman piece is about half a dozen denizens of a Mumbai brothel...It has a great deal going for it in both its subject matter and Mehta’s versatile performance...Unhappily, it has her speaking a mumbo jumbo patois using huge swaths of Indian-accented dialogue, replete with colorfully broken English and Hindi. When she switches from English to Hindi and back again, as she often does, you may not even be sure where one ends and the other begins.” Full Review
See it if you want to see the blending of Hindi and Judeo-Christian myths to understand the sex trafficking industry as a cultural phenomenon
Don't see it if multiple languages in a show disturb you
See it if you just want to see a great performance by a beautiful talented actress or want to enter the home and minds of a Bombay sex-worker
Don't see it if you expect the life of real people to be sweetness and light
See it if Are open to Mehta's strongest quality to indulge you in the rawness of india, your emotions, humour and empathy. Then flip it and prod you
Don't see it if You are a stiff close minded human with no imagination nor curiousity
See it if you are interested in learning more about the women in India destined to work in the sex industry and solo performances
Don't see it if you want a full colorful Bollywood experience. The set is sparse probably because of the limitations of being in fringeNYC
See it if you want to see a talented young Indian actress, dancer, singer present the issues of the sex trade in India in an intelligent G rated way.
Don't see it if you go to the theater to be entertained and not to think.
See it if You are interested in the culture surrounding prostitution in India. You enjoy Bollywood You like shouting, clapping or singing along
Don't see it if You have difficulty with thick accents. Stories about violence or sexual violence upset you
See it if You want to watch a beautiful play full of humor, great dancing, wonderful acting and the everyday tragedies of Mumbai brothels.
Don't see it if You have trouble understanding fast speech with thick accents, or feel uncomfortable with themes of sex and abuse.
See it if Want a life changing, eye opening experience. Want to make the world a better place. Enjoy culture, dance, great acting, and great writing
Don't see it if You don't care to learn about culture, hardship and survival.
See it if You like engaging, socially conscious theatre that gives back! (Proceeds go to Apneaap to help young girls caught in the sex trade)
Don't see it if You want a mindless night of entertainment
See it if I was moved by the sensitive depiction of the prostitute and her daughter's relationship. It was a difficult subject handled entertainingly
Don't see it if Don't like Bollywood music
See it if You love well told, must be told, women's plights. The performance was amazing. A one woman show. She was fantastic.
Don't see it if You have no compassion and can't laugh.
See it if If you are looking for a show spanning a spectrum of emotions-you laugh, cry, cringe, think, feel with the characters!
Don't see it if If you mind profanity, use of colloquial language and or bollywood music
See it if You like unique voices and story telling that incorporates Asian Indian song, dance and myth.
Don't see it if You are disinterested in a dynamic challenging piece that donates its proceeds to help children escape the sex trade.
See it if You love one-person shows, beautiful costumes and dancing, great female performances, or if you're interested in the subject matter
Don't see it if You don't like one-person shows where they switch characters each line.