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Naughty@Forty Serves Up Fun And Laughter - Review

Chitra Parayath
10/30/2003

The comedy Naught@Forty, produced by Swaroop Sampat and starring her talented spouse Paresh Rawal played to full houses on September 12 and September 25 at the John Hancock Hall and at the McCarthy School, Chemsford, MA, respectively. Brought to the New England area by Chandu and Eshaani Shah, the play was an obvious hit with theater aficionados and lay folks alike.

A playful peep into the workings of a forty year old man’s mind, Paresh, in the play, portrays Natwar (Nuts), a middle class bank official, who’s libido goes into overdrive every time he sees any woman other than his long suffering wife Pramila.

When Monica, a popular actress, sexy to boot, moves next door with her pansy husband Mohan, Nuts begins to drool, imagining all kinds of trysts with Monica. Mohan, meanwhile, has designs on the homely Pramila, who is god fearing and serves her husband and child dutifully.

Mohan prays to god for a day of bliss with Monica as his wife. Things go hilariously haywire when his wish is granted and he finds himself in Mohan’s place.

Paresh Rawal excels in his sense of comedic timing, his effortless acting puts him in the league of the best in world theater today. His banter with his son, Goti and wife are particularly fresh and chuckle inducing.

At the end of the play, when Nuts has realized the folly of his ways (even though one does get the sneaking feeling that he will succumb again to the charms of the nest mini-skirt he spies), he sees Pramila praying for a transformation. “Never mind” he says to her ”No use praying to Krishna, he is a man after all.” Applause and guffaws greeted every one of Paresh’s dialogues, even though some of them were down right sexist and politically incorrect.

The play dragged on a bit in the second half but this critic heard no complaints from the engrossed public. Chandu and Eshaani, at the conclusion of the evening, thanked the stars and the people of Boston for supporting their venture.

Swati as Pramila, the long suffering middle aged Gujarati wife gave an extremely credible performance. Dilip Rawal as Mohan was quite convincing while Rinku as his wife Monica played her part as the glamorous actress to the hilt. Sridhar as Goti, Paresh’s son won the hearts of the audience and was greeted with thunderous applause when he took the bow.



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