PHOTO CALL: Bunty Berman Presents... Opens Off-Broadway
By Matthew Blank
Olivier Award-winning playwright Ayub Khan Din stars in the title role of his new Off-Broadway musical Bunty Berman Presents..., which officially opened May 9 under the wing of the New Group at the Acorn Theatre.
As previously reported, Din, the award-winning playwright of East Is East and Rafta Rafta..., took over the title role of Bollywood film producer Bunty Berman in the musical when original actor Erick Avari withdrew from the production after sustaining an injury during rehearsals.
Without an understudy in place, the New Group was forced to cancel the April 19, 20 and 22 performances of the musical that is co-authored by Din and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Paul Bogaev. Performances resumed April 24 with Din in the lead.
New Group artistic director Scott Elliott directs the production that is scheduled to run through June 1. Previews began April 12.
Set in a 1950s Bollywood studio and incorporating music inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, Bunty Berman Presents... has book and lyrics by Din with music by Din and veteran Broadway conductor-musical director Paul Bogaev (Aida, Les Miserables, Bombay Dreams, "Chicago"). Josh Prince choreographs with musical direction by Boko Suzuki.
The cast also features Raja Burrows, Nick Choksi, Katie Chung, Sevan Greene, Andrew Guilarte, Shoba Narayanan, Lyn Philistine, Debargo Sanyal, Pallavi Sastry, Gayton Scott, Lipica Shah, Alok Tewari and Sorab Wadia.
According to the New Group, "Movie producer Bunty Berman has long been the toast of Bombay, but now Raj, his biggest star and best friend, is beginning to lose his lustre. When their new movie bombs, Bunty must navigate through divas, mobsters and ambitious tea-boys to keep his studio alive."
The production has set design by Derek McLane, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by David Lander, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, projection design by Wendall K. Harrington, and orchestrations and arrangements by Bogaev and Suzuki. Bogaev also serves as musical supervisor.
The Acorn Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street. For tickets, priced $60, visit telecharge.com or phone (212) 239-6200.
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