Bawdy and brilliant, Nafay has a knack for business. She is the owner of Casino Cabaret also known as Queen Nafay’s Casino. Nafay grew up as the only female in the family along side two older brothers and her father who raised them. Her mother passed from an unknown cause while Nafay and her brothers were very young leaving Nafay to become more dependent from her older brothers and learn the family textile business. The business was successful and at its peak toward the end of the Ottoman Empire, when robbers stole and vandalized the business, burning it to the ground. This led her father into a deep depression and eventually death. Nafay, then nearing her early twenties, became more independent and started acting and dancing. Eventually, once again working with one of her brother’s, she opens a casino that will cater mainly to Europeans and the Western World heavily influenced by Hollywood and its glamorous stars. It stars the troupe of Golden Age Dancers with stories all their own. Eventually, Nafay will have to face part of her past that she was soon hoping to forget.
Farah: Farah was raised primarily by women and is a traveling street performer who sings, dances and recites poetry. She performs regularly at the marketplace where she swings her assaya(cane) and plays her finger cymbals. As Samara (read character below) travels to Cairo she sees Farah dance and is mesmerized by her beauty and dance.
Sabah: The young Sabah left her family when she was a younger teenage due to rebellious behavior. She found herself in Cairo where she meet up with Nafay, the owner and troupe director of Casino Cabaret. As one of Nafay’s first troupe members, she soon becomes the headlining star of the casino. Sabah is movie star gorgeous, talented and a bit narcissistic. She is spoiled endlessly with jewelry and gifts from patrons. Sabah works very hard and has little time for friendship. When Samara, a unique and beautiful girl enters the troupe, Sabah becomes cautious of her dance ability. Things turn for the worst, during a routine rehearsal, when an unexpected intruder comes to practice and causes Sabah to trip. Now, with a twisted ankle, she is unable to dance for the weekend show leaving Samara to temporarily take her place.
Jamah: Jamah comes from a long line of traditional male dancer’s in Istanbul. However, with the growing trend and adoption of western taste, the once popular male dancers of the Ottoman empire have slowly demised. Jamah is determined to change this and longs to be a part of Nafay’s troupe by any means necessary. He works as a busser at the casino and is often allowed to sneak in to watch the troupe practice. One day, in order to prove himself to Nafay and the other dancers, he tricks the new troupe member Samara (locking her in the kitchen closet) and performs in her place during a dress rehearsal. At the end of the song, the troupe is a tiny bit shocked but giddy and impressed that he know the choreography. However, an over-dramatic Sabah faints and falls to the floor, twisting her ankle. Jamah runs out of the building before Nafay and her brother get ahold of him. With Sabah unable to perform, Samara will have to take her place.
Nafay’s Casino Cabaret Troupe: Nafay’s troupe consist of the most beautiful, elegant and talented dancers who perform on a weekly demanding schedule. Nafay, who is the owner and troupe director provides the choreography for many of the performances. Their style includes theatrical stage performing with props as well as improvisational numbers to live music. They have a very showgirl western appeal to their dramatic and alluring look. Sabah is the headlining star of the troupe who has solo pieces in the choreographies. Samara, a young new dancer, will soon become part of this troupe.
Samara: Samara was raised alone by her father Assad after he took off and abandoned her mother for her unconventional lifestyle. Assad is protective of his daughter but see’s that her personality grows more toward her mother’s way. In fear, Assad tried to shelter Samara from the world. On the way to the marketplace to run errands she decides to leave once and for all. She makes her way into Cairo where she meets and instantly bonds to Nafay who gives her motherly love that has been missing most of her life. Nafay welcomes Samara, an untrained dancer to the casino, and spends the majority of her time training her to eventually join the troupe. She has her struggles at first but then becomes accustomed to dancing. Eventually, she joins the troupe much to the jealous demise of the star Sabah. When Sabah trips during rehearsal Samara soon takes her place as the soloist. But that is not the end of the story.
To be continued…