‘DDLJ Musical’ Lead Talks South Asian Representation on Broadway

For Shoba Narayan, the Indian American lead of Aditya Chopra’s “Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical,” the Broadway-bound production is a dream come true.

Chopra’s U.S. stage musical reimagining of his immensely popular 1995 bollywood film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” commonly abbreviated to DDLJ, addresses the need for cultural unification in a divided world.

Narayan plays Simran, a young Indian-American woman whose future is set via an arranged marriage back in India to a family friend. But when she convinces her strict father that she should spend a summer of freedom and fun in Europe, she falls for the charming Rog (Austin Colby), and her plans go out the window.

Produced by leading Indian studio Yash Raj Films, “Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical” is currently on at the Old Globe theater in San Diego until Oct. 16 and will move to Broadway after that. The musical is notable in many respects with bollywood filmmaker Chopra, composers Vishal and Sheykhar and associate choreographer Shruti Merchant debuting in U.S. theater. In addition, there are 16 South Asian actors set to debut on Broadway.

Narayan said: “I am thrilled to be bringing this classic love story ‘Come Fall in Love,’ to Broadway and to be playing the iconic lead role of Simran. The fact that we have an Indian musical headed to Broadway feels incredibly personal and monumental to me as an Indian American actor who was raised by Indian immigrant parents, and who loves bollywood films, Broadway, and Indian fine arts.”

“It’s a great moment of pride to see our Indian culture celebrated and represented so authentically on the world’s biggest stage,” Narayan added. “This is something I’ve spent my life and career fighting for. Hopefully, this will be the first of many.”

“I feel so much pride for this big moment for India, with a Broadway debut for Aditya Chopra, Vishal and Sheykhar, [projection designer] Akhila Krishnan, Shruti Merchant as well as Indian cinema and Yash Raj Films,” Narayan said. “We are here. We are seen. I couldn’t be happier. It was only a matter of time before Broadway and bollywood found each other and I am honored to be at the helm of this moment.”

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Originally published at variety.com

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