Manu Narayan in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
|Born||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Classical Saxophonist|
|Years active||1999 – present|
Manu Narayan (born August 16, 1973, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American actor, film producer, singer, songwriter, composer and saxophonist. He currently serves as a Trustee on the board of Carnegie Mellon University, his alma mater.
Narayan was hailed as a "promising young star...a compelling actor and outstanding singer who can light up a stage with sheer force of personality," by UPI in 2004 when he made his Broadway debut in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/A.R. Rahman musical Bombay Dreams, originating the role of the "hero" Akaash. Narayan co-starred as Rajneesh alongside Mike Myers in the Paramount Pictures' Film The Love Guru, released worldwide on June 20, 2008.
Narayan was born in Pittsburgh and currently resides in Hollywood. He is an accomplished classical saxophonist in the western and South Indian Carnatic styles. When Narayan was a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University, he won the Concerto Competition and performed the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto with orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh. Narayan studied the Carnatic saxophone in Mangalore, India with Sri Kadri Gopalnath, and played on All India Radio as the winner of the All India Radio music competition of Mangalore.
As an actor, Narayan appeared alongside Mike Myers, Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake in Paramount Pictures' summer comedy The Love Guru. On stage, Narayan made his Broadway debut in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/A.R. Rahman musical Bombay Dreams in 2004, originating the role he is most widely known for, the “hero” Akaash, and garnered a New York Drama League nomination. Narayan recently starred as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse's critically acclaimed revival of Glengarry Glen Ross and was nominated for a 2012 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award.
Charles McNulty of Los Angeles Times said “Manu Narayan as Richard Roma, the slick, unscrupulous king of the conspicuously placed sales leader board, which never lets anyone forget who’s on top...Narayan has the character strut around like a foul-mouthed Casanova. It’s an attention-grabbing performance...it adds to the velocity of Ashley’s thrillingly paced production.” Pam Kragen of North County Times declared, "Manu Narayan is dazzling as the testosterone-fueled Richard Roma, the slick, charismatic sales leader...”, while Ken Herman of SanDiegostory.com said, “whenever Manu Narayan as the eerily captivating Ricky Roma was on stage, the play soared. Narayan not only delivered a pitch-perfect take on the character of this devious, narcissistic hawker of worthless real estate, but he vigorously telegraphed the terse, staccato scan of Mamet’s prose. Roma believes he is larger than life, and Narayan made even the slightest gesture stoke his smarmy illusion."
Narayan starred as the romantic lead in Sudhish Kamath’s Good Night Good Morning, which he co-produced, and Shailja Gupta’s Walkaway. He co-starred with Lucy Hale in the Warner Brothers/ ABC Family comedy A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, is featured in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. He also co-starred with Canadian comic Russell Peters in Quarterlife Crisis (Showtime).
In 2003, Narayan was invited to sing at a small state dinner for the first official visit of President George W. Bush to the UK. Narayan sang for and met Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Family, and President George W. Bush and Colin Powell. He also sang for then Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton. as well as elsewhere with Cyndi Lauper, The Band’s Garth Hudson and Martha Wainwright.
As a recording artist, Narayan has collaborated on and recorded original and cover tracks for feature film soundtracks including The Love Guru, Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, Good Night Good Morning and Walkaway. He co-wrote and recorded the single Help Me to Find for the film Hiding Divya starring Madhur Jaffrey. Narayan has collaborated with Grammy winner Frank London numerous times around the world, most recently recording and performing for his Soundbrush records’ Klezmer concept album A Night in the Old Marketplace. As the lead vocalist, Narayan performed the concert version of the album throughout Europe and North America. He is currently working on a new Klezmer/Desi collaboration called SHARABI with London and master percussionist Deep Singh, whom he performed with in Bombay Dreams. SHARABI recently returned from performing at the 2014 Jewish Cultural Festival in Kraków, Poland
Narayan is also lead singer of the band D A R U N A M with Radovan Jovicevic, founding member of Yugoslavia's Grupa Zana. The band brings together the melodies and rhythms from three countries: America, India and Serbia. He recorded with D A R U N A M bandmate Radovan Jovicevic the single Have Me for the 2007 film And Then Came Love starring Vanessa Williams. Narayan and Jovicevic have released the 2007 EP All That's Beautiful Must Die and the title track's video featuring Janina Gavankar. Their album of Electronic Lounge/World Gypsy music with Canadian clarinetist Milan Milosevic entitled The Last Angel on Earth was released live on CBC national radio in Canada in 2010. D A R U N A M is currently collaborating on an original theatre piece with playwright Aditi Kapil. Their untitled piece was selected to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's 2014 Ground Floor Writer's Summer Residency Lab.
- Law and Order:SVU – (2001 Season 3) (TV series)
- The Sopranos – (2004 Season 5) (TV series) Sukhjit Khan
- Quarter Life Crisis (2006) Jonathan
- Hiding Divya (2006) Irfana Auntie's son
- Two Men in Shoulder Stand (2006) (short)
- M.O.N.Y. (2007) TV Movie) Sunil Ramesh - directed by Spike Lee and produced by Tom Fontana
- Lipstick Jungle – (2008 Pilot) (TV series)
- Cashmere Mafia – (2008 Pilot) (TV series)
- Mayor of N.Y. - Pilot Episode
- As the World Turns (TV series)
- The Love Guru (2008) Rajneesh - directed by Marco Schnabel
- Click and Clack’s As the Wrench Turns – (2008 Season 3) (TV series)
- Radha (2008) (short)
- The Order (2009)
- Three (2009)
- Clap Clap (2009) (short)
- Nurse Jackie – (2010) (TV series) Paramedic
- Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps (2010) directed by Oliver Stone
- The Last Airbender (2010) Fire Nation Head Prison Guard - directed by M. Night Shyamalan
- Rubicon – (2010) (TV series) Bob Standard
- Good Night Good Morning (2010) (PVR Cinemas) - Turya / songwriter / soundtrack artist - directed by Sudhish Kamath
- Walkaway (2010) (Reliance pictures / Big Cinemas) - Darius / songwriter / soundtrack artist -directed by Shailja Gupta
- A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song (2011) (TV movie) Ravi/Tony Gupta
- Unforgettable (2011 TV series) – (2011) (TV series) Sami
- The Protector - (2011 Pilot) (TV series)
- Deception (U.S. TV series) - (2012) (TV series) Plastic Surgeon
- The Following - (2013) (TV series) FBI Analyst Reece
- "99 Homes" - (2013) (Upcoming film) Khanna
- Fame (musical) by DeSilva, Margoshes, Fernandez (1992) - Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh, PA
- Mame (musical) by Jerry Herman (1993) Theater of the Stars, Atlanta, GA
- Godspell by Stephen Schwartz (composer) (1994) The Muny St. Louis, MO
- Miss Saigon, the Second National Tour by Schoenberg and Boubil (1995-1999) - Miss Saigon Tour, North America
- Love's Labor's Lost by Shakespeare (1999) - Shakespeare and Company, Lenox, MA
- Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare (2001) - Shakespeare and Company, Lenox, MA
- Largo by David Henry Hwang (2001) - Powerhouse-New York Stage and Film, Poughkeepsie, New York
- The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare (2002) - Missouri Repertory Theatre, Kansas City, MO
- Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard (East Coast premiere-2002) - The Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, PA
- Fucking A by Suzan-Lori Parks (World premiere-2003) - The Joseph Papp Public Theater, New York City
- Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman (2003) - The Repertory Theater of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
- Bombay Dreams by A.R. Rahman (Broadway Original Cast- 2004) - Drama League nomination, New York City
- The People Next Door by Henry Adam (American Premiere-2006) - Yale Repertory Theater, New Haven, CT
- SIDD: the musical by Andrew Frank (World Premiere-2006) - New World Stages, New York City
- subUrbia by Eric Bogosian (Revival-2006) - Second Stage Theater, New York City
- The Boys from Syracuse by George Abbott, Lorenz Hart, and Richard Rodgers (Revival-2006) - CenterStage, Baltimore, MD
- Falsettoland with a book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by William Finn (Revival-2007) - NAATCO, New York City
- Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (Revival-2007) - The Muny, St. Louis, MO
- Cyrano by Rostand (2009) - CenterStage, Baltimore, MD
- The Lisbon Traviata by Terrence McNally (Revival-2010)- The Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
- Yeast Nation by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (NYC Premiere-2011) -New York International Fringe Festival, New York City
- The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (2011) - CenterStage, Baltimore, MD
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (musical) by Galt MacDermot and John Guare (2012) -Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington D.C.
- Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (Revival-2012) -La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA
- Gettin' The Band Back Together book by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg, and music and lyrics by Mark Allen. (2013) -
George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, NJ
- "Thumbprint - a Chamber Opera" book by Susan Yankowitz, music by Kamala Shankaram. (2014) - Prototype Festival in New York City
Critical Acclaim for La Jolla Playhouse's 2012 Revival of Glengarry Glen Ross
Charles McNulty wrote in Los Angeles Times on September 27, 2012, “The success of Ashley’s tight and tense production owes a good deal to the actors in these roles…Manu Narayan as Richard Roma, the slick, unscrupulous king of the conspicuously placed sales leader board, which never lets anyone forget who’s on top…Closing deals is clearly a high-testosterone activity. When Roma puts the moves on a prospective buyer, it’s as though he’s making love to them. Narayan has the character strut around like a foul-mouthed Casanova. It’s an attention-grabbing performance — any minute you half-expect this Roma to break out some “Saturday Night Fever” dance moves — and it adds to the velocity of Ashley’s thrillingly paced production.”
Pam Kragen wrote in North County Times on September 23, 2012, "Manu Narayan is dazzling as the testosterone-fueled Richard Roma, the slick, charismatic sales leader who easily overwhelms the resistance of his timid, awe-struck mark with a blizzard of self-important, nonsensical phraseology. It’s clear that Roma is selling more than swamp land in Glengarry Highlands to his wimpy, henpecked customer James Lingk. He’s selling machismo and Lingk (a quivering, cowering Jeff Marlow) is most definitely buying."
Ken Herman wrote on SanDiegostory.com on October 4, 2012, " However, whenever Manu Narayan as the eerily captivating Ricky Roma was on stage, the play soared. Narayan not only delivered a pitch-perfect take on the character of this devious, narcissistic hawker of worthless real estate, but he vigorously telegraphed the terse, staccato scan of Mamet’s prose. Roma believes he is larger than life, and Narayan made even the slightest gesture stoke his smarmy illusion."
Jean Lowerison wrote on SDGLN.com on September 27, 2012, "Narayan’s Roma is everything you’d expect a sleazebag salesman to be: fleet of tongue, shy on ethics and a human verbal bulldozer who doesn’t take “no” for an answer."
Jessica Ordon wrote in La Jolla Light on September 26, 2012, "Manu Narayan gives an energetic performance as Richard Roma, a character made up of off-color charm, luck, and lies."
David L. Coddon wrote in San Diego CityBeat on September 26, 2012, "Even the comparatively successful Richard Roma (Manu Narayan) is in fierce competition not only with his fellow agents, but also with a creeping part of himself that wants to F-bomb it all... Narayan’s performance as Roma, which manages gestures of tenderness toward the pitiable Shelly, is the stoutest among a cast..."
- "Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees". The Economic Times. July 20, 2013.
- "'Bombay Dreams' brightens Broadway. – UPI Perspectives (May, 2004)".
- Playbill Celebrity Buzz: THE LEADING MEN: Bolly High
- Asiance Magazine: Manu Narayan stars in The Love Guru with Mike Myers
- McNulty, Charles (September 27, 2012). "'Glengarry Glen Ross' crackles with energy". Los Angeles Times.
- Kragen, Pam (September 23, 2012). "'Playhouse's 'Glengarry' is sharp, bitingly funny". North County Times.
- Herman, Ken (October 4, 2012). "This Glengarry Glen Ross a Soft Sell". SanDiegostory.com.
- They sang for Bush and the Queen!
- Bombay Dreams: A reckoner
- Cyndi Lauper and Garth Hudson star in “Largo: A Musical” at Vassar’s Powerhouse - College Relations - Vassar College
- Shabari / A-WA at Tempel Synagogue (24th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival day 6)', Bartek (July 3, 2014). (Free) Jazz Alchemist http://jazzalchemist.blogspot.com/2014/07/shabari-wa-at-tempel-synagogue-24th.html. Missing or empty
- Hurwitzz, Robert (February 26, 2008). "berkeley-rep-fills-up-its-next-ground-floor". SFGATE. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Lowerison, Jean (September 27, 2012). "Theater Review: 'Glengarry Glen Ross'". SDGLN.com.
- Ordon, Jessica (September 26, 2012). "Mamet’s words still ring true with fine cast of ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at the La Jolla Playhouse". La Jolla Light.
- Coddon, David L. (September 26, 2012). "'Glengarry Glen Ross': Dirty deeds and premium leads". San Diego CityBeat.