Aditya Chopra re-imagines DDLJ as Come Fall in Love to showcase Indian culture, values

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Shoba Narayan plays Simran in Come Fall in Love, the Broadway reimagining of DDLJ. Photo: Yash Raj Films 

Aditya Chopra’s Come Fall in Love, the Broadway musical that premiered September 14, is going to have a major impact for Indian and South Asian representation on Broadway.

The musical has many firsts for India and Indians. For the first time, an Indian director, Aditya Chopra, is making a debut on Broadway. (Earlier, Shekhar Kapur, who was at one time to make Paani for Yash Raj Films, executive-produced the Hindi cinema-themed musical Bombay Dreams by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which ran in London’s West End and on Broadway in New York for 1 year).

Come Fall in Love is also the first musical set directly from Mumbai’s cinema to come on Broadway. It has Vishal and Sheykhar as composers. This is Shruti Merchant’s first Broadway musical as associate choreographer, and Shoba Narayan plays her ethnicity for the first time on the Broadway stage.

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To top this, there are 16 South Asian actors who are set to debut— a first for any musical on Broadway. The show champions diversity, and every department from cast to technicians is a beautiful confluence of East and West as Indian and South Asian representation is at the heart of this show.

Speaking about the cultural impact that Come Fall in Love is going to have in America, as well as on the global stage, the musical’s lead Shoba Narayan shares, “I am thrilled to have brought Come Fall in Love to Broadway and to be playing the iconic lead role of Simran in this adaptation of the classic love story, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. The fact that we have an Indian musical headed to Broadway feels incredibly personal and monumental to me as an Indian American actor who was raised by Indian immigrant parents, and who loves Hindi films, Broadway, and Indian fine arts.”

She adds, “It’s a great moment of pride to see our Indian culture celebrated and represented so authentically on the world’s biggest stage. This is something for which I’ve spent my life and career fighting. Hopefully, this will be the first of many.”

Shoba further states, “I feel so much pride for this big moment for India, with a Broadway debut for Aditya Chopra, Vishal & Sheykhar, Akhila Krishnan, Shruti Merchant as well as Indian cinema and Yash Raj Films. We are here. We are seen. I couldn’t be happier. It was only a matter of time before Broadway and ‘Bollywood’ found each other and I am honored to be at the helm of this moment.”

Come Fall In Love speaks about the need for cultural unification in a growingly divisive and toxic world. It is about the celebration of inclusivity and diversity in a world that is getting polarized by the minute. It is about the celebration of love and how it can unify people, cultures and break down all barriers.

The musical has 18 original English songs and the makers reveal that they also have a beautiful song, Love in every color, that celebrates the theme of inclusivity.

The musical had its opening night on September 14 to a very positive response and it will run through October 16. The musical has started its performances at the prestigious The Old Globe theatre in San Diego.

“We are feeling proud as Indians to see a standing ovation for Come Fall in Love on the first night!,” said Vishal & Sheykhar, who are composing music, and reveal that the show has got a standing ovation on the first night.

On Instagram, Vishal Dadlani wrote, “What a surreal feeling!! Our first standing ovation for an Indian production that is headed to Broadway! Feeling proud and overwhelmed!!!! Get set to experience how love can unify cultures in #ComeFallInLove!!! Come to the @theoldglobe in San Diego today!!”

Sheykhar also posted, “Incredible!!! Speechless!!! Goosebumps!!! Feeling proud as an Indian to see a standing ovation for Come Fall in Love on the first night! I can never forget this moment. Broadway, here we come with #ComeFallInLove!!! but before that come to @theoldglobe now and tell us what you feel!”

Rehearsals for Come Fall in Love. Photo: Yash Raj Films

Aditya Chopra directs a cast of 30, which includes Austin Colby as Rog Mandel, Irvine Iqbal as Baldev, Rupal Pujara as Lajjo, Vishal Vaidya as Ajit, Siddharth Menon as Kuljit, Kate Loprest as Emily “Minky” Soulard, Juice Mackins as Ben, Hannah Jewel Kohn as Cookie, Jeremy Kushnier as Roger Mandel, Sr., Amita Batra, Neha Dharmapuram, Tiffany Engen, Rohit Gijare, Marc A. Heitzman, Usman Ali Ishaq, Nika Lindsay, Ilda Mason and many others

Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical’s creative team includes set design by Emmy and Tony Award winner Derek McLane, costume design by Tony Award winner Linda Cho, lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Wiedeman, sound design by Tony Award winner Jessica Paz, projection design by Akhila Krishhnan, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by David Holcenberg, music direction by Ted Arthur casting by Duncan Stewart of Stewart/Whitley casting and Yash Raj Films casting head Shanoo Sharma.

On the occasion, producer-director Aditya Chopra revealed that he had originally planned DDLJ itself as a Hollywood-based romance between an American man and an Indian woman. The main motivation was to showcase Indian culture and values to a global audience. In an Instagram post, he reveals that as he re-imagines his blockbuster film as a Broadway musical 27 years after its release, the idea remains the same.

 

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