'Monsoon Wedding' Musical to Premiere at Berkeley Rep

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Mira Nair (Photo: Ishaan Nair)

Berkeley Repertory Theater (Berkeley Rep) announced Wednesday, Apr. 20 that it will present a new musical based on the hit 2001 film Monsoon Wedding, directed by Mira Nair.

“I have always envisioned Monsoon Wedding as a fully fleshed out musical,” said Nair in a statement from Berkeley Rep, one of the region's major theater companies, based in downtown Berkeley. “And to be working with Berkeley Rep to help tell that story just adds to the excitement. I know the end result will be something terrific."

There have been plans for years to bring Monsoon Wedding to Broadway as a musical, with open casting calls in Palo Alto, New Jersey, and Houston. Broadway World has reported that choreographer Bill T. Jones and music director Andy Einhorn would be involved with the New York production. But a spokesman for Berkeley Rep says the two Broadway veterans are not involved in the Berkeley production.

The movie and the stage musical track the adventures of an upper middle class Delhi family as it plans an arranged marriage between a daughter and an American man she's never met.  Sabrina Dhawan wrote the screenplay and is working on the Berkeley Rep stage adaptation, with Tony nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead and Indian composer Vishal Bhardwaj joining the creative team.


The show's producers say the production is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017 at Berkeley Rep.

Nair, coincidentally, will receive the Irving M. Levin Directing Award from the San Francisco Film Society at this year's San Francisco International Film Festival. The festival is also featuring an afternoon conversation with Nair at the Castro Theater on Sunday, Apr. 24 including a screening of Monsoon Wedding.

“Mira Nair is a brilliant filmmaker I have long admired,” Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's artistic director, said in a statement. "Monsoon Wedding is one of my favorite films and to have the opportunity to bring it to the stage in the form of a musical is really something to be excited about.”