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Rediff.com  » Movies » Bombay Dreams has a dream run in US!

Bombay Dreams has a dream run in US!

Last updated on: May 13, 2004 10:59 IST

The headline in this week's trade publication Variety offers some bad news for New York Post, the ceaseless critical foe of Bombay Dreams.
A still from Bombay Dreams
'Dream week for Bombay Dreams' declares the headline in the influential trade weekly. In its first full session of eight performances, Bombay Dreams grossed $766,721 (out of a $1 million potential) and entered the chart at No 7. It grew $201,038 to enjoy the week's biggest uptick, reports Variety.

The show, which cost $14 million, has to do better and stay ahead in the competition for over six months to recoup.

Each week, the show has to earn $500,000 to break-even.

The Post had announced last week that in its first night following the premiere that had drawn heavyweights such as businessman Donald Trump and television journalist Mike Wallace, the show had grossed just about $80,000. At that rate, its producers better start giving the box-office figures in rupees, the Post added.

Though many newspapers including The Washington Post and USA Today slammed the musical, it got a rave from New York's Daily News newspaper and Entertainment Weekly and an above-average review from Newsday. Try to get that music out of your mind, challenged the Newsday review. The producers have begun aggressively advertising the show not only in New York newspapers but also in major newspapers outside the state. The ads found quite a few positive lines even in adverse reviews.

Though Bombay Dreams took just three Tony nominations -- best choreography, costumes and orchestration -- the audience reaction has continued to be strongly encouraging, its producers say.

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'The show didn't take a Tony nomination for musical,' wrote Variety, 'but then neither did Aida four years ago. In comparison, the Disney musical did somewhat softer biz right out of the box, grossing $713,181 in its first session of regular performances.'

Aida, which will be closing in September after a very profitable run, has depended considerably on pop stars such as Tony Brixton to draw the audiences.

"We have been doing very well for a show that has no stars," says Anita Waxman, one of the Bombay Dreams producers. "For us, the show itself is the star."

Had the show been running in a smaller house than the 1,761-seat Broadway Theatre, it would have sold out signs every night, says co-producer Sudhir Vaishnav. For instance, the hit show Avenue Q is on at a 796-seat theater.

For the May 3 to 9 week, Bombay Dreams, which doubled its performances from four to eight the previous week, saw the attendance rise from 72 percent to 85 percent. It grossed considerably more than recent shows including Fiddler On The Roof that has a star-cast led by Alfred Molina -- a big name in the movies and theatre.

With thousands of tourists descending on Broadway, the next few months could see a strong swing for Bombay Dreams.

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Arthur J Pais