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Bombay Dreams to come true in New York!

Arthur J Pais | September 08, 2003 20:29 IST

The campaign for Bombay Dreams, which will not go into previews till March 29, 2004, in New York, started with a full-page colour advertisement in The New York Times.

Bombay DreamsOnly two names featured in the advertisement in Sunday's paper: Andrew Lloyd Webber and A R Rahman.

'A R Rahman is nothing short of a melodic genius,' says Lloyd Webber in a statement. 'It has been thrilling to watch London theatre-goers embrace Bombay Dreams with such fervour. Bringing this talent and this musical to Broadway brings my own dreams for this project full-circle.'

At the premiere of the show in London, Lloyd Webber, whose own compositions like Cats are all-time hits, embraced Rahman, telling the audiences he had never heard more beautiful music than Rahman's in his life.

The show, reportedly capitalised at $12.5 million, will be one of the more expensive Broadway shows, even though it has no stars of Hollywood stature. Webber hasn't announced the cast.

But this much is certain: the book, emphasising the rise of a young man from the slums of Mumbai to stardom in Bollywood, is undergoing an extensive rewrite.

"It will be a very different show when it comes to New York," director Steven Pimlott, who also directed the hit London version, had said earlier.

Though the show got high marks for Rahman's music and choreography (Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan), many reviewers faulted the book, calling it weak and filled with inane dialogue.

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Van Laast and Khan, as well as Pimlott, are part of the New York show. Sayal will share credit with Tony-winning writer Thomas Meehan (The Producers and Hairspray).

Meehan won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical for The Producers and Annie. His other book-writing credits include I Remember Mama, Ain't Broadway Grand and Annie Warbucks. Also an Emmy-winning writer, Meehan has co-written several screenplays, including two with Mel Brooks.

The musical will be shown at Broadway Theatre, one of the largest and more prominent of New York theatres, with about 1,600 seats. It was the home for Miss Saigon for many years. Recently, Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme was staged there for six months.

The official opening is set for April 29, 2004.

Meanwhile, the London production of Bombay Dreams has returned the entirety of its $7.25 million investment in mid-August, the trade publication Variety reported.

The news came as the show began its 14th month at the Apollo Victoria Theatre at London's West End.

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