Path breaking cinema, like Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, comes along once in a rare blue moon. But when it does arrive, it sprinkles magic over generations. Some such cinema also makes it to the stage. Monsoon Wedding, mind you makes it not to just any stage, but in 2017, heads straight for Broadway!
Monsoon Wedding- The Movie
In 2001, Mira Nair had brought us a simple and heartwarming film. Essentially a love letter to her hometown of Delhi. Written by Sabrina Dhawan, Monsoon Wedding chronicled the lives of a to-be-married couple, a loving big fat Indian family, an endearing bubbling of romance, and the spirit of a true desi wedding. With its sensitivity, honesty, and the comforting lack of fear that accompanies righteousness, the movie blew audiences away. Shunning Bollywood’s standards of escapist fantasies and extravagance, Monsoon Wedding was shot with hand-held cameras, and all props & costumes were borrowed from the director’s family.
Monsoon Wedding a Musical on Broadway:
Mira has lovingly re-created Monsoon Wedding as a musical for the stage. This is also screenwriter Sabrina Dhawan’s first time scripting for the stage. The music has been handed over to none other than noted composer/ director Vishal Bhardwaj who has composed music and songs for numerous films such as Maachis, Satya, Chachi 420, Godmother, theme songs for The Jungle Book in Hindi and Tony Award-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead. The cast has been completely revised. With Nair traveling the globe looking for the trifecta of acting, dancing and singing in her performers.
The musical is raring to go, putting India on the global musical scene like never before. Monsoon Wedding opened in Berkeley, under the eyes of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, on May 5th and has shows running until June 25th. Eight weeks of full-fledged performance at Berkeley, and then the crew packs for Broadway!
A dream come true
” It has taken us a long time to get here. I have always envisioned Monsoon Wedding as a fully fleshed out musical. It’s quite a radical move, the first South Asian fully Dilli musical on Broadway! We have dealt with the stage adaptation of Monsoon Wedding organically. The work has taken eight years of my life. Now the entire story is driven by music. We have 21 songs in the stage adaptation. We have creative talent of the highest order. An extraordinary cast, mostly from India and North America. This is no longer just a drama. It’s really exciting, and we’re ready to go.” says Mira Nair.
A fantastic story, some amazing performances, colorful dances set against jubilant music, all under the skillful direction of Mira Nair, could it get any better?
Tickets start at $35, and can be bought on berkeleyrep.org