La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere production of Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical, staged in California this month, is being choreographed by Indian-American Rujuta Vaidya, a highly-accredited, globally-recognized, dance choreographer, who has been responsible for some of the biggest Bollywood musical extravaganzas in the entertainment industry.
“This production is monumental for the South Asian community in America,” said Vaidya, whose mission it has become to bring quality musical theater to India, after this experience. “We are truly setting a standard for South Asian dancers and the youth to know that there is a place for us in the musical theater industry, both here and in India.”
With choreography credits such as Academy Awards 2009 (John Legend and AR Rahman’s Slumdog Millionaire performance), Britney Spears’ The Circus Tour, Black Eyed Peas’ The End Tour, AR Rahman World Tour, Priyanka Chopra’s “In My City,” Sridevi’s English Vinglish and the Disney-released Cheetah Girls 3 – One World, Vaidya is a leading influence in the world of contemporary Bollywood dance.
The book is written by Mike Lew (Playhouse’s Tiger Style!) and Rehana Lew Mirza (Playhouse’s DNA Series Child of Colonialism), music and lyrics are by Sam Willmott (Yo, Vikings!), with additional music by Grammy Award nominee Deep Singh. The piece will be directed by Stafford Arima (Broadway’s Allegiance), with choreography by Rujuta Vaidya (Slumdog Millionaire Academy Awards performance) and musical staging by Lisa Shriver (Playhouse/Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar).
The cast features Ari Afsar as “Mary,” Aryaan Arora as “Mohan,” Bilaal Avaz as “Amit,” Jesse Bhamrah as “Gobind,” Brandon Contreras as “Billy,” Laura Dadap as “Constance,” Henry Walter Greenberg as “Noah,” Jason Heil as “Wallace,” Terrance Johnson as “Jake,” Jaya Joshi as “Sunita,” Madison McBride as “Lily,” Anu Mysore as “Shetal,” Amey Natu as “Big Bob,” Alka Nayyar as “Rekha,” Zain Patel as “Varun,” Devi Peot as “New Mary,” Vinithra Raj as “Preeti,” Ramita Ravi as “Shilpa,” along with Nikki Mirza, Gerry Tonella, Levin Valayil and Devina Savnis as swings.