Bombay Dreams

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Bombay Dreams
Bombay Dreams 2002 Original London Cast Recording CD Cover.jpg
The CD Cover for the 2002 Original London Cast Recording
MusicA. R. Rahman
LyricsDon Black
BookMeera Syal
Thomas Meehan
Productions2002 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, originally produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production opened in 2002 and ran for two years. The musical was later 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 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. 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 story also deals with the change of name from Bombay to Mumbai and the identity issues that this raises.

Musical numbers[edit]

London production

Broadway production


Bombay Dreams premiered in the West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on 19 June 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 29 April 2004 and closed on 1 January 2005 after 284 performances. The director was Steven Pimlott, with choreography by Farah Khan and Anthony Van Laast, 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]


In the UK, the production grossed an estimated £5 million at London's West End theatre by March 2004,[5] equivalent to $9.2 million.[6] As of June 2004, the show was watched by over 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom.[7] In the United States, the production sold 552,954 tickets and grossed $22,437,579 at the Broadway Theatre by January 2005.[8] Combined, the production sold over 2.1 million tickets in the United Kingdom and Broadway theatre, and grossed approximately $32 million at the West End and Broadway theatres.[citation needed]

The Original London Cast Album, composed by A. R. Rahman, received a Gold certification and sold 250,000 units in the United Kingdom. The album was also a top-selling record in India.[7]


Film adaptation[edit]

On 14 May 2010, Marquee Pictures was supposed to produce a film adaptation of the musical with Deepa Mehta directing the film.[9]


  1. ^ "Original Bombay Dreams Cast, London 2002". Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Broadway 2004 Cast". Archived from the original on 24 January 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew (6 February 2006). "Complete Casting and Touring Schedule Announced for Bombay Dreams Tour". Playbill. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  4. ^ ""Bombay Dreams" at Theater of the Stars". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Bombay Dreams to end". Evening Standard. 24 March 2004.
  6. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 2004. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b "BOMBAY DREAMS TO CLOSE". London Theatre Guide. 13 June 2004.
  8. ^ "BOMBAY DREAMS Broadway Grosses - 2005". Broadway World. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  9. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "'Bombay Dreams' heads to big screen". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

External links[edit]