Aditya Chopra’s Broadway musical Come Fall In Love speaks to the need for cultural unification in an increasingly divided and toxic world. It’s about celebrating inclusivity and diversity in a world that is polarizing by the minute. It’s about celebrating love and how it can unite people, cultures and break down all barriers. With Come Fall In Love set to open at the Old Globe in San Diego on September 14, Aditya Chopra talks about her intention to “present a vision of diverse cultures coming together in a story that celebrates love.”
In a statement that reads like an invitation to the world to watch Come Fall In Love (CFIL), producer and director Aditya says, “I first conceived the story of DDLJ (before it even got started). called DDLJ) as a Hollywood love story of a white American man and an Indian woman. My main motivation at the time was to introduce Indian culture and values to a global audience. Years later, as I reimagine the story as a Broadway musical, my mainstay is still the same, introducing Indian culture to a global audience. And the most powerful way to describe a country’s culture and values is to see it from the perspective of someone who doesn’t belong to the same culture. This is the starting point of Come Fall In Love, Indian Simran’s story, culture and heritage through the eyes of American Roger.
He says CFIL focused on Simran being central to the story and his impact on Roger. It says, “Come Fall In Love is the story of Simran, an American Indian. She is at the center of the musical’s story, as she struggles to balance her love for Indian tradition and her family with her love for Roger. He is a white American man who falls madly in love with Simran and then falls in love with his culture and country. He longs for India and finds a new version of himself in India’s energy, values and way of life.
Aditya is clear he wasn’t going to direct the iconic Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), also directed by him, on Broadway and what excited him the most was how it can be adapted to the times. today to send a deeper message to the public. . He says, “I’m not directing DDLJ for Broadway. I’m adapting it as Come Fall In Love to tell how powerful love is in unifying cultures, especially today. In 2022, the idea that DDLJ could be adapted to present a vision of diverse cultures coming together in a story that celebrates love and the power it has to unite everyone, really moves me.
He adds, “For me, Austin Colby as Roger and Shoba Narayan as Simran are the perfect vehicles to get that message of cultural unification across a fragmented world. They are joined by a cast, crew and creative team that represents all the extraordinary talent that Indian cinema and Broadway have to offer. The representation and artistry of India reverberates through every part of this production. Come Fall In Love is not just my heartfelt take on “love in all colors”, as the musical’s finale puts it, but a celebration of joy, togetherness and inclusiveness in a world of intolerance which divides and becomes more and more toxic. It is also my love letter to India and to the Indian heritage that we carry with us wherever we are.
He further adds, “In creating a new DDLJ for a new time and a new audience, I moved away from certain aspects of the film that our fans revere. But I believe that the heart of Come Fall In Love beats with all that is essential in DDLJ even though it speaks, sings and dances in this moment, in a different place and time, with hope, optimism and love.
He knows that DDLJ has a special place in the hearts of all Indians and he hopes that every Indian is proud that an adaptation of the cult film is coming to Broadway.
Aditya said, “I look forward to sharing Come Fall In Love with those who cherish DDLJ and also look forward to bringing the story to audiences who are experiencing it for the first time. I am well aware that DDLJ has a special place for many Indians living across the world and as an original producer and director I am well aware of the responsibility I have to represent India to the world. I am grateful, humbled and excited about this opportunity. I hope to see you in the theater and together we can celebrate the magnetic force of love that can break down all barriers.
Come Fall In Love has many firsts for India and Indians. For the first time, an Indian director, Aditya Chopra, makes his debut on Broadway. It is also the first Bollywood musical ensemble to be broadcast on Broadway. Vishal and Sheykhar are also making their debut as composers. Shruti Merchant will make her first Broadway musical as associate choreographer. The show champions diversity and every department, from cast to technicians, is a beautiful confluence of East and West, as Indian and South Asian representation is at the heart of this show.
The various actors and technicians talk about how Come Fall in Love champions cultural unification in the present day. The musical also features 18 original English songs to treat the audience to and the creators reveal they also have a beautiful song “Love In Every Colour” which celebrates the theme of inclusivity through the show.
Aditya Chopra leads a cast of 30, which includes Shoba Narayan as Simran (Broadway’s Disney’s Aladdin as Princess Jasmine), Austin Colby as Rog Mandel (North American Tour of Disney’s Frozen the Musical as as Hans, Off-Broadway’s Jersey Boys as Bob Gaudio), Kate Loprest as Emily “Minky” Soulard (Broadway’s First Date, Hairspray), Juice Mackins as Ben (Broadway’s The Prom), Hannah Jewel Kohn as Cookie ( North American Tour of Disney’s Frozen The Musical), Jeremy Kushnier as Roger Mandel, Sr (Broadway’s Footloose as Ren McCormack, Rent as Roger Davis), Amita Batra as Ensemble (Amit Patel & Ishika Seth’s Unearthed: Untold Stories of the Ramayana), Neha Dharmapuram as Ensemble (MS in Marketing Intelligence from Fordham University), Tiffany Engen as Ensemble (Broadway’s Legally Blonde), Rohit Gijare as Ensemble (Bollywood Blvd at Lincoln Center), Marc A. Heitzman as Ensemble (Broadway’s Bands tand), Usman Ali Ishaq as Ensemble (Signature Theatre’s RENT), Nika Lindsay as Ensemble (North American Tour of Disney’s Frozen The Musical), Ilda Mason as Ensemble (West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg), Caleb Mathura as As Set (Jesus Christ Superstar at Timber Lake Playhouse), Meher Mistry as Set (India’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Belle), Shannon Mullen as Set (Broadway’s A Bronx Tale), Shahil Patel as Set (Off-Broadway’s Fairycakes), Zain Patel as Ensemble (La Jolla Playhouse’s Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical), Becca Petersen as Ensemble (Broadway’s Mean Girls), Kinshuk Sen as Ensemble (Much Ado About Nothing at UCLA’s Shakespeare Theater Company), Jack Sippel as Ensemble (Broadway’s The Prom), Michael Starr as Ensemble (First National Tour of Bright Star), Geatali Tampy as Ensemble (Bollywood Blvd at Lincoln Center) and Sonya Venugopal as Ensemble (Evita.
Along with Aditya, Ashford, Benjamin, Dadlani & Ravjiani, the creative team behind Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical includes set design by Emmy and Tony award winner Derek McLane (MJ The Musical, Moulin Rouge!, Hairspray Live!), costume design by Tony Award winner Linda Cho (A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder), lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Wiedeman (Dear Evan Hansen, The Visit), sound design by Tony Award winner Jessica Paz (Hadestown), projection design by Akhila Krishhnan (National Theatre’s Our Generation), musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by David Holcenberg (MJ The Musical, Matilda The Musical), musical direction by Ted Arthur (Broadway’s Diana), associate director, Stephen Sposito (Broadway’s The Book of Mormon, Wicked), associate choreographer Shruti Merchant (Dhoom 1, 2 and 3), cast by Duncan Stewart of Stewart/Whitley casting (Hadestown, Chicago The Musical) and Yash Raj Films Casting Head Shanoo Sharma (Ek Tha Tiger, Gunday, Fan) and Production Manager Anjee Nero (Almost Famous, The Heart of Rock & Roll).
For The Old Globe run, the musical begins performances from September 1 to October 16, 2022, with the official opening on Wednesday September 14.