‘Bollywood Boulevard’ at the Byham; Mr. Smalls Hosts Wild Rivers (Thurs., 2/22/18)

Images and motifs of the past converge with modern Bolly-rock in 'Bollywood Boulevard.'

Images and motifs of the past converge with modern Bolly-rock in ‘Bollywood Boulevard.’

1) Here is what’s missing in a Eurocentric culture like ours: We may think we are multicultural, and certainly our performing arts are much enriched by African and Latino influences. But we don’t have Bollywood. Luckily, the good folks in Mumbai are out to remedy the situation. About once per year they send a live musical extravaganza to Pittsburgh. This year’s touring show is Bollywood Boulevard: A Journey through Hindi Cinema, and rather than just weaving together a bunch of song-and-dance numbers, it traces the history of Hindi moviemaking in India. The story line travels from early black and white films through the stunning 1957 epic Mother India, to the action thrillers and zany hip-hop rom-coms of today’s Bollywood. Of course Bollywood itself is influenced by American culture—but it also draws on thousands of years of Indian tradition and has begun to influence others. Not long ago, a Ukrainian dancer scored a hit on “Ukraine’s Got Talent” by performing a Bollywood routine. Bollywood Boulevard brings the real thing to the Byham Theater as part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series. 7:30 p.m. Tonight only. 101 6th St., Cultural District. (MV)

2) Wild Rivers is a folk/pop band from Toronto, Canada that creates some beautiful harmonies from members Khalid Yassein, Devan Glover, Andrew Oliver, and Ben Labenski. Opening is Jesse Denaro. 8 p.m.  Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave.,  Millvale. (RH)

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Rick Handler

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