Aditya Chopra’s U.S. stage musical reimagining of his immensely popular 1995 Bollywood film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” commonly abbreviated to DDLJ, addresses the need for cultural unification in a divided world.
Produced by leading Indian studio Yash Raj Films, “Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical” aims to be a celebration of inclusivity and diversity in a world that is increasingly polarized. It explores how love can unify people and cultures and break down all barriers.
It tells the story of Simran, a young Indian-American woman whose future is set via an arranged marriage back in India to a family friend. But when she convinces her strict father that she should spend a summer of freedom and fun in Europe, she falls for the charming Rog, and her plans go out the window.
Chopra directs a cast of thirty, which includes Shoba Narayan (Disney’s “Aladdin” as Princess Jasmine on Broadway) as Simran and Austin Colby (North American tour of Disney’s “Frozen the Musical” as Hans, Off-Broadway’s “Jersey Boys as Bob Gaudio”) as Rog Mandel.
Austin said: “After watching ‘DDLJ,’ I was filled with joy, peering through a window into the rich world of Indian culture. It is overwhelming to fully process ‘DDLJ’s impact on both Indian and global audiences, touching hearts and changing lives. What an honor for me to be a part of bringing ‘Come Fall In Love’ to the American theater audience and entrusted with this responsibility by the original director, Aditya Chopra. Hearing him talk about his vision for this musical is inspiring and something I truly believe in.”
“That being said, I’m aware what my involvement in this production means to many people and I completely understand its impact. I’m not the Raj that Shah Rukh Khan made us fall in love with, nor will I ever pretend to be. I am excited to fulfil the creative team’s vision for this role and I truly believe in the story and how we are telling it. I hope audiences will trust Adi [Chopra] and the team’s original vision for ‘Come Fall In Love’ coming to Broadway and love this piece as much as we do,” Austin added.
Narayan said: ” ‘Come Fall in Love’ tells a beautiful story of uniting people from different walks of life. Given the toxic narrative of division that has been running in our world today, ‘Come Fall in Love’ is a heartfelt and relevant show that explores the importance of inclusivity and learning about a world beyond our own. As I look around our rehearsal room, I see members of every department, from East to West, pouring their full selves into this piece, and striving to authentically represent the world we are portraying. It was only a matter of time before Broadway and Bollywood found each other and I am over the moon to be leading this exceptional production.”
The show features book and lyrics by Laurence Olivier Award-winner Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”) and choreography by Tony and Emmy winner Rob Ashford (“Frozen,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and associate choreographer Shruti Merchant. The set design is by Emmy and Tony Award winner Derek McLane (“Moulin Rouge!”).
Benjamin said: “I fell in love with Simran and Raj in the original movie, and in Adi’s vision of this stage show, their love story represents two cultures coming together and finding understanding — and this is exactly what we’re trying to do in the rehearsal room: learn from each other how to celebrate India and America in a joyful and inclusive way.”
Ashford added: “From our casting of Roger and Simran to our creative team, we’re celebrating the union of artists from opposite ends of the world.”
The projection design is by Akhila Krishnan (National Theatre’s “Our Generation”), music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by David Holcenberg (“Matilda The Musical”), music direction by Ted Arthur (Broadway’s “Diana”), costume design by Tony Award-winner Linda Cho (“A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder”), lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Wiedeman (“Dear Evan Hansen”) and sound design by Tony Award-winner Jessica Paz (“Hadestown”).
Leading Indian songwriters Vishal Dadlani and Sheykhar Ravjiani serve as composers. “Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical” will play at the Old Globe theater in San Diego on Sept. 1- Oct. 16 and move to Broadway after that.
Dadlani and Ravjiani said: “It is a true collaboration of two worlds, of two cultures, as equals. We are celebrating love, inclusivity and equality through every moment of this show, and we know that everyone who watches it will feel that way too. There are 18 original, brand new English songs including our personal favorite ‘Love in Every Color’ that is representative of the world that we aspire to live in, a world that celebrates diversity unabashedly. We hope to spread love and joy through our show, and to touch the hearts of everyone who loves a truly joyous Broadway musical.”
Chopra added: “I can’t wait for audiences to see ‘Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical’ at The Old Globe with this amazing cast. I am thrilled to be making not only my stage debut, but my American debut. ‘Come Fall in Love,’ with all new English songs by Indian composers Vishal and Sheykhar, has allowed me to revisit my original vision for ‘DDLJ’ — and share with audiences this love story between an American man and an Indian woman. ‘Come Fall in Love’ is truly an expansion of the success story of ‘DDLJ.’ Any lover of the film will rediscover its beauty and the English-speaking world will fall in love with Rog, Simran and India. Bollywood and Broadway will meet for an exciting theatrical experience.”