K. Asif’s Mughal-E-Azam starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, which was the most expensive film made at the time (in 1960), is still considered the greatest Indian motion picture ever and now, we have some good news for fans of the eternal love story.
Acclaimed director Feroz Abbas Khan, known for his award-winning film Gandhi, My Father and successful plays like ‘Tumhari Amrita’, ‘Salesman Ramlal’ and ‘Mahatma VS Gandhi’, will soon helm ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, a Broadway-style musical play, which will be a tribute to the original film and is being prepared on a grand scale to be performed at the NCPA (National Centre For Performing Arts), where it will play daily from October 21 till first week of November for a limited engagement of two weeks followed by the staging in end November for another two weeks into December at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.
Readers will be delighted to know that the musical play will not only be made on a grand scale like the film, but will also feature eight songs from the film to be performed as part of the narrative! Needless to say, this project will be the grandest musical live theatrical production witnessed in India and is expected to set a new benchmark for Indian theatre.
Feroz Abbas Khan says, “Mughal-E-Azam is apt because even the film was inspired by a play, Anarkali, which K Asif saw and borrowed passages of dialogue from. It’s a dramatic father-son story with the nation at stake. In its writing skills and mounting, it was close to perfection with great dialogues and emotional story-telling, complemented by eye-catching visuals and a terrific score.”
The upcoming musical has another connection with the original cult classic- the musical play will be co-produced by none other than Shapoorji Palanji, the 150-year old business conglomerate that had funded K. Asif’s ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ with a budget of three million dollars in 1960, making it the most expensive film made at the time.
Apart from Feroz Abbas Khan, other names attached to this ambitious project are costume designer Manish Malhotra, award-winning lighting designer David Lander, Emmy award nominee projection designer John Narun, production designer Neil Patel and choreographer Mayuri Upadhya.