London’s Bombay Dreams to Close June 2004

News   London’s Bombay Dreams to Close June 2004 While the Broadway company of Bombay Dreams is set to begin previews March 29, the London company of the A.R. Rahman musical has announced a closing date.
A scene from the London production of Bombay Dreams
A scene from the London production of Bombay Dreams

Variety reports that the Andrew Lloyd Webber-produced musical will end its profitable two-year run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre June 13. That won’t be the end for the musical, however. The industry paper reports that the Anglo-Asian hit will relaunch later in the year for a tour of the United Kingdom prior to a return visit to a smaller London house in 2005. That production will feature the revised script, which will be seen on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre.

Really Useful’s Andre Ptaszynski told Variety, “The simple fact is that, with the Broadway production, the book and set designs have hit the button so much better than our original attempt in London. [The upcoming New York version] just presented a much more coherent love story and narrative. Andrew (Lloyd Webber) has fallen completely in love with it. The intention precisely is to watch it open in New York and then bring that version back to tour in Britain and then into the West End.”

The closing of Bombay Dreams frees up the Apollo Victoria, which seats 1,900. Saturday Night Fever is scheduled to return there in July for an open-ended engagement. That production will be produced by Adam Spiegel and directed by Arlene Phillips.

Bombay Dreams was produced in London at a cost of £4.5 million. Co-produced by Lloyd Webber, the musical paid back its original investment in just over a year. The advance sale for the Broadway production — with a cost of $14 million — has exceeded $4 million. Really Useful’s Ptaszynski commented, “We're in pretty good shape for what is a fragile, unknown thing on Broadway.”

Bombay Dreams, a love story set against the backdrop of the Bombay film industry, features music by Hindi composer A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Sunset Boulevard's Don Black. Lord Lloyd Webber produced the London world premiere with his Really Useful Company. Featuring a book by novelist-writer-comedian Meera Syal, Bombay Dreams is an original work about the Bombay film industry, otherwise known as Bollywood. London reviews were mixed, although the Daily Mail's Michael Covney wrote, "You can't help being seduced by its energetic charm . . . There can be no doubt that the wonder of the East has worked its charm on the West End." The Broadway production, which officially opens April 29, features a revised book by Syal and Tony Award winner Thomas Meehan. The Broadway creative team comprises Steven Pimlott (director), Anthony van Laast and Farah Khan (choreography), Mark Thompson (scenic and costume design), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design) and Mick Potter (sound design).

Waxman Williams Entertainment and TGA Entertainment are presenting the Andrew Lloyd Webber production on Broadway. For more information visit www.bombaydreamstheshow.com.