Bombay Dreams

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For the 2004 film, see Bombay Dreams (film).
Bombay Dreams
Bombay Dreams 2002 Original London Cast Recording CD Cover.jpg
The CD Cover for the 2002 Original London Cast Recording
Music A. R. Rahman
Lyrics Don Black
Book Meera Syal
Thomas Meehan
Productions 2002 West End
2004 Broadway
2006 North America tour

Bombay Dreams is a Bollywood-themed musical, with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Don Black and the book by Meera Syal and Thomas Meehan, and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production opened in 2002 and ran for two years. The musical also was produced on Broadway in 2004.


The story centers around Akaash, a young man from the slums of Bombay who dreams of becoming the next big star in Bollywood. Fate steps in when a rich pro-bono lawyer and his fiancée, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, arrive to prevent the demolition of Akaash's slum. Akaash quickly falls in love with the lawyer's fiancée, Priya, who happens to be the daughter of a famous Bollywood director, and the ticket to the top that Akaash needs. Complications arise as Akaash faces the reality of show business, fame, his love for Priya, and his obligations to his family, friends, and his Paradise slum.

The plot includes frequent reference to the change of name from Bombay to Mumbai of the titular city and references the identity issues that this raises.

Musical numbers[edit]

London version[edit]

Song Singer(s) Duration Lyrics Notes
Bombay Awakes Instrumental 2:18
Bombay Dreams Dalip Tahil, Raj Ghatak, Karen David & Preeya Kalidas & A. R. Rahman 1:09 Don Black
Like An Eagle Raza Jaffrey & A. R. Rahman 5:00 Don Black Additional Vocals by Maurius de Vries
Love's Never Easy Raj Ghatak 4:40 Don Black Reworked version, Original: Ishq Bina - Taal
Don't Release Me Dalip Tahil & A. R. Rahman 3:18 Don Black
Happy Endings Preeya Kalidas & Dalip Tahil 3:04 Don Black Reworked version, Original: Rangeela Re - Rangeela
Ooh La La Andrew Playfoot 3:07 Don Black Reworked version, Original: Ooh La La La - Minsara Kanavu
Shakalaka Baby Preeya Kalidas & Raza Jaffrey 4:15 Don Black Reworked version, Original: Shakalaka Baby - Mudhalvan
Additional Vocals by Maurius de Vries
Are You Sure You Want To Be Famous? Preeya Kalidas, Raza Jaffrey & A. R. Rahman 3:49 Don Black Refined version, From: Sona Nahi Na Sahi - One 2 Ka 4
I Could Live Here Raza Jaffrey 2:20 Don Black
Only Love Preeya Kalidas 3:28 Don Black
Chaiyya Chaiyya Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasti 5:11 Gulzar Reused version, Original: Chaiyya Chaiyya - Dil Se..
How Many Stars Preeya Kalidas & Raza Jaffrey 3:48 Don Black
Salaam Bombay Raza Jaffrey & A. R. Rahman 3:34 Don Black
Closer Than Ever Preeya Kalidas & Raza Jaffrey 5:36 Don Black Reworked version, Original: Nahin Samne - Taal
Ganesh Instrumental 2:14
The Journey Home Raza Jaffrey & A. R. Rahman 4:21 Don Black Later reused in Sarah Brightman's album Harem
Wedding Qawwali Sukhwinder Singh 3:34 Sukhwinder Singh
Bombay Sleeps Instrumental 1:05
Tak Dheen Reena Bhardwaj 4:41 Unreleased song, later used in album Shakalaka Baby with vocals by Preeya Kalidas

Broadway version[edit]

  • 1. Salaam Bombay (overture)
  • 2. Bollywood
  • 3. Love's Never Easy
  • 4. Lovely, Lovely, Ladies
  • 5. Bhangra
  • 6. Shakalaka Baby
  • 7. I Could Live Here
  • 8. Is This Love?
  • 9. Famous
  • 10. Love's Never Easy (reprise)
  • 11. Chaiyya Chaiyya
  • 12. How Many Stars?
  • 13. Salaam Bombay (reprise)
  • 14. Hero
  • 15. Ganesh Procession
  • 16. The Journey Home
  • 17. Wedding Qawwali


Bombay Dreams premiered in the West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on June 19, 2002 and closed in June 2004. The original cast included Preeya Kalidas as Priya, Raza Jaffrey as Akaash, Ayesha Dharker as Rani, Dalip Tahil as Madan, and Ramon Tikaram as Vikram.[1]

The musical opened on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre on April 29, 2004 and closed on January 1, 2005 after 284 performances. The director was Steven Pimlott, with choreography by Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan and scenic and costume design by Mark Thompson. The cast featured Manu Narayan as Akaash and Madhur Jaffrey as Shanti. The plot, format and characters of Bombay Dreams were revised several times. The book of the musical was rewritten and many songs were cut and other songs added to the show for the Broadway run.[2]

A new production produced by Atlanta's Theater of the Stars and the Independent Presenters Association started touring North America in February 2006 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California.[3][4]



  1. ^ Original Bombay Dreams Cast, London 2002
  2. ^ "Broadway 2004 Cast",
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew."Complete Casting and Touring Schedule Announced for Bombay Dreams Tour",, February 6, 2006
  4. ^ "Bombay Dreams at Theater of the Stars",, accessed February 13, 2010

External links[edit]