Andrew Lloyd Webber's newest musical is not his own. The legendary composer of Evita, Cats, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and The Phantom of the Opera is producing — with his Really Useful Theatre Company — Bombay Dreams, an original work about the Bombay film industry, otherwise known as Bollywood.
The $7 million production (a price tag reported in Variety) will premiere at the West End's Apollo Victoria May 31. Opening is set for June 19.
The original idea for the musical was conceived by Lloyd Webber and associate producer Shekhar Kapur, best known for his direction of the award-winning feature film, "Elizabeth." In a statement Kapur admitted, "I have waited for years for the culture of the Bombay film industry to be presented professionally to international audiences. There could be no better way to expose that culture than the collaboration between two of the most talented people in this world: Andrew Lloyd Webber and [composer] A. R. Rahman."
A. R. Rahman has written the scores for dozens of Bollywood movies, including "Roja, Lagaan, Star" and "Bombay." Oscar winner Don Black, who collaborated with Lloyd Webber on Song & Dance, Aspects of Love and Sunset Boulevard, has written the show's lyrics, and novelist writer-comedian Meera Syal is credited with the show's book. Steven Pimlott, who helmed the successful revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to direct, and the creative team also features Mark Thompson (sets and costumes) and Anthony van Laast (choreography).
Bombay Dreams, a love story that is set against the backdrop of the Indian movie industry, will begin previews at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre on May 31 with an official opening set for June 19. Tickets may be purchased online via Ticketmaster, in person at the theatre's box office or by phone at 0870 4000 650. *
Lloyd Webber also recently told Variety that he has plans for his own new musical. "I think I've found a new subject for a musical," he commented, "[but] I can't say what it is at the moment because I need to find a writer, but it's a good subject, too."
Visit the Bombay Dreams website at bombaydreamsthemusical.com.
—By Andrew Gans