“Bend It Like Beckham – the Musical” – REVIEW

Who watched the movie “Bend It Like Beckham?” directed by Gurinder Chada all the way back in 2002?

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to view the musical version of “Bend It Like Beckham,” at the St. Lawrence Centre for Arts. It was Akshaya and Udayan’s first live theatre experience and they were captivated for every minute of the two and a half hour performance. This feel-good, family friendly, story focuses on an Indian girl torn between respecting her family’s traditional views and her love for soccer. The themes of girl power, resilience and determination, and following one’s dreams no matter the obstacles that stand in the way play such a strong presence throughout the entire plot. Everything about the musical was magical – from the talented cast and relatable storyline that brought forth so many laughs, to the songs and dancing, and use of cultural elements such as beautiful traditional South Asian attire and Bollywood-style dance!

The curtain call was accompained by traditional dhols (Indian drums) and cast members dancing the Bhangra admist the audience. It was such an exceptional and thoughtful way to end the show. There was not a single audience member left sitting as everyone was either dancing or standing and applauding! I’ve always wanted to take my children to see a show – possibly make it a tradition every holiday season – and I’m so glad their first experience was one that had so much South Asian representation. If you’re still shopping for Christmas gifts or looking for something to do over the holidays, tickets to “Bend It Like Beckham” would make for an awesome experience! The show runs in Toronto until January 5th.

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