Disney to bring Broadway shows to India

MUMBAI: Broadway lovers in India need not travel anymore as Disney India gears up to bring Broadway shows to the country now. Starting with timeless classic Beauty and the Beast, Disney India will begin the Broadway journey in October from Mumbai and will then take it to Delhi in December.


While Disney has had a 20 year Broadway journey across the globe, Disney India finally thought of venturing into it in order to give to the people a Disney immersive experience. “Broadway could just be the birth of a new culture in entertainment,” said Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur.


Kapur is of the opinion that while the country had the vision, dream and talent for live English entertainment, what it actually lacked was infrastructure. Talking about the target group for Broadway in the country, Kapur said, “The audience that we are looking at is families and young adults who have the inclination and the ability to enjoy experiences of this kind.”


According to Kapur, with Indians today travelling extensively to overseas, they have been exposed to theatre and Broadway. “People are looking at experiences to cherish as a family and unfortunately in our country we haven’t been able to offer them those experiences apart from cricket and Bollywood. But, they have the disposable income to be able to afford it and they have the interest and inclination to want to experience it as well,” he opined. 


Disney India will be hosting a number of shows in both Dome at NSCI in Mumbai and Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi. Not revealing the number of shows, Kapur said, “We are looking at an audience ranging from 2000-2500 per show.” 


Explaining the reason behind bringing Broadway to the country with Beauty and the Beast, he said, “Beauty and the Beast has been that show that Disney has always started Broadway with and this is because of the beautiful story, which resonates in different cultures and is not difficult to understand. It has also got great music and performances. So, this seemed like the logical choice for us.” 


Disney India has roped in local talent for the show. Leading it from the front is Disney India show director and creative head, live entertainment Vikranth Pawar. The company has roped in Lesle Lewis as music director, Terence Lewis as choreographer, Varsha Jain as set designer, Gavin Miguel as costume designer, Pallavi Devika for hair and make-up and Suzanne D’Mello as vocal trainer.


“It is a local production with local cast and crew. We believe that we have got the talent in the country. All that was needed to give live English entertainment a boost was infrastructure,” he said.  


Disney India had been mulling bringing Broadway to the country for the past three years. While the company got 8,000 entries from artistes, it conducted 1,000 physical auditions in five cities to get the final 18 artistes who will now perform.

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