Mahabharat has created many a money-spinner at the box office. Vastraharan, a Marathi play turned into a cult classic on stage by the late Machchindra Kambli, is one of them. It is on the threshold of making history — performed for the 5,000th time — at the Shanmukhananda Hall on November 21.
Based on the traumatic moment of Draupadi’s life — when the Kauravas tried to disrobe her — Vastraharan made quite a sensation when it was staged for the first time in February 1980 by Kambli, a renowned Marathi-Malvani theatre actor-director.
“It was babuji’s (Kambli) dream to stage the 5,000th show on a grand scale. We will fulfil his dream. Unfortunately, he is not alive to see it,” Mangesh Kadam, who is the conceptualiser now, said.
Vastraharan, written by Gangaram Gavankar, has a play within a play. “Papa had wanted to take this play abroad. It became the first Marathi-Malvani drama to go to London in 1994. At that time, we needed lots of money. The late Marathi stage and film actor, Kashinath Ghanekar, gave us a brilliant idea. He suggested that we invite celebrities to act in small parts to add glamour and attract sponsors,” Prasad Kambli, son of Machchindra, said.
The formula continues. Along with the original star cast, there will be stalwarts from the Marathi stage and film in cameo roles. They include Bharat Jadhav, Sanjay Narvekar, Sidharth Jadhav, Makarand Anaspure and Medha Ghadge. Santosh Mayekar, the lead actor, plays the role of sutradhar.