Mira Nair All Set To Go On Stage With Adaptation Of Monsoon Wedding
This May, India’s most accomplished film director abroad is all set to take the Broadway stage by storm with her adaptation of Monsoon Wedding, the 2001 film that took the diaspora and its desi cousins by storm.
Speaking excitedly on her maiden tryst with the stage Mira Niar says, “We’re opening in May.I’ve been working on the stage adaptation ofMonsoon Wedding for eight years. Now We’re all set to go on stage.We’ve got Vishal Bhardwaj’s amazing music score which was not there in the film. And of course Sabrina Dhawan’s skilled writing. So yes, it seems like our adaptation from film to stage is on the right path.”
While the film in 2001 featured an enchanting ensemble cast ofNaseeruddin Shah, Shefali Shah,Randeep Hooda, Vasundhara Das,Lilette Dubey, Vijay Raaz, the stage version has a completely new cast.
Says Mira, “We’re opening in Berkley, California first. You see, the way it happens in US is that before a musical show goes on stage on Broadway it has to be staged at another venue,albeit a high-end venue, to make sure that all the lights, sound etc run smoothly, as it is all live.We’re opening at a very high-end regional theatre in Berkley California playing for an 8-week limited engagement. By then we’ll be fit and shining to take on Broadway without the scrutinizing gaze of the unsparing New York critics.Then we move to Broadway.”
Mira is understandably excited about her shift to stage. “It’s quite a radical move, the first South Asian fully Dilli musical on Broadway.Then if it works, it plays and plays and plays. There’s no limit to how far it can go. But the key to the whole exercise for me is to give it our best shot in the US and then bring it here to India.”
The new Monsoon Wedding cast on stage has Mira excited. “We’ve an extraordinary cast now, mostly from India and North America. In March we start final rehearsals and then we go on stage in May. Initially we’ll be performing in the US for eight weeks until July.I am anxious about the opening going smoothly. Once we open smoothly we are consolidated. Then we’ve nothing to worry about. We’ve a team to take care of the nittygritty.Then when the world tours start I’ve to worry again.”
Mira who had critically acclaimed film Queen Of Katwe in 2016 has set aside much of 2017 to the stage adaptation of Monsoon Wedding. “It is eight years of my life. It has taken us a long time to get here.We didn’t just take Broadway veterans and put them on stage. We dealt with the stage adaptation of Monsoon Wedding organically. We got authentic talent like Vishal Bhardwaj. We have 21 songs in the stage adaptation. Now the entire story of Monsoon Wedding is impelled by music.We’ve really creative talent of the highest order. This is no longer just a drama. It’s really exciting.And we’re ready to go now.We had to balance it all out, streamline the gifted artistes. But we’re ready.”