Accomplished filmmaker Mira Nair is currently working the Broadway musical version of her hit film, Monsoon Wedding. It is said that the stage version will feature an Indian cast and will include circus acrobatics, aerial acting, theatre, music and dance. Nair says that is glad to be back to “crossover movies” after her “Hollywood sojourn”. She doubts that the play will be a Bollywood song-and-dance production, but she does say that they “have an extraordinary project in mind”.
Nair admits that adapting a movie like Monsoon Wedding into a Broadway musical is a challenge, but says that her “years as an actor in Delhi” inspired her to conceive the stage version of the film. She is very generous with details about the production, saying that two-thirds of the stage will be occupied by a portable tent so that it can move around the country.
The play will begin similar to how the movie did with characters, Lalit and Dubey screaming commands at workers from an upper level. “They will perform a trapeze act, while the human action will take place at a lower level. It will also be a symbol of the class divide that I tried to show in my movie,” Nair said.
Casting will be done in June and there are talks that Naseeruddin Shah (who appeared in the film) will feature in the stage version.
Choreography of the musical will be headed by Tony-award winning American producer Bill T Jones. He is known for directing Fela, the 2008 Broadawy musical about the Nigerian band-leader and political activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The music will be composed by Vishal Bharadwaj.