Vishal Bhardwaj Goes International

It’s going to be composer Vishal Bharadwaj’s first score in the English language.

MUMBAI: It’s going to be composer Vishal Bhardwaj’s first score in the English language. And Vishal is kicked, mighty kicked.

Yes, it’s finally happening. After more than a year of dillydallying, the stage musical version of Mira Nair’s 2001 game-changer ‘Monsoon Wedding’ is finally getting ready to hit the road. We hear the Bollywood-styled songs will carpet the musical adaptation of the beloved film. Vishal Bhardwaj who has been roped in to do the music  will now put on her singing-cap with lyricist Abbas Tyrewala and Mira  to conjure as many 11 songs for the Broadway-styled musical.

Says a source close to the revolutionary project that is expected to change the audience-profile for the Bollywood fare, “Converting ‘Moonsoon Wedding’ into a staged Bollywood musical was a conscious decision taken by Mira and Vishal together two years ago. They wanted to extend the appeal of the song-and-dance formula to a global non-cinema audience. But then Mira got busy with ‘The Reluctant Fundmentalist’ and Vishal with ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ and ‘Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola’. At least on three different occasions in the last two years Mira was in Mumbai when Vishal was not. They just couldn’t get their act together.”

Finally now we hear that Mira and Vishal have worked out a schedule convenient to both of them. Confirming plans to put together the music for the staged Monsoon Wedding Mira says, “I’ll be working on finishing the songs of Monsoon Wedding with Vishal and Abbas.”

Interestingly the staged version of Monsoon Wedding won’t repeat any  of the cast members from the film. One hears Randeep Hooda, Shefali Chhaya, Vijay Raaz and Lilette Dubey were keen to reprise their screen roles on stage. But Mira wants fresh exuberant faces. Also, the actors have to be fabulous dancers since they will be singing and dancing non-stop on stage for two hours.

Actors with two left feet needn’t apply.

Adds Vishal Bhardwaj, “It’s a Broadway musical version of Monsoon Wedding. And it’s great fun. There are 11 songs in all. And I am getting to compose songs in English for the first time. The songs will be sung live by the actors on stage.”

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Subhash K Jha

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