Director Aditya Chopra has revealed a grand vision for “Come Fall in Love,” the stage adaptation of his immensely popular 1995 film Bollywood film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” commonly abbreviated to DDLJ while talking to Variety.
Chopra said: “I first conceived the story of DDLJ (even before it was called DDLJ) as a Hollywood love story of a white American man and an Indian woman. My main motivation at that time was to present Indian culture and values to a global audience. Years later, as I reimagine the story as a Broadway musical, my mainstay is still the same, showcasing Indian culture to a world audience. And the most powerful way to depict a country’s culture and values is to see it from the perspective of someone who does not belong to the same culture. That is the starting point of ‘Come Fall In Love,’ the story of Indian Simran, her culture and heritage, through the eyes of American Roger.”
“Come Fall In Love” is the story of Simran, an Indian American, as she struggles to balance her love for Indian tradition and her family with her love for Roger, a white American man who falls madly in love with her, and then falls in love with her culture and her country. Roger finds a new version of himself in India’s energy, values, and way of life,” said Chopra.
“I’m not directing ‘DDLJ’ for Broadway. I’m adapting it as ‘Come Fall In Love’ to tell the story of how powerful love is in unifying cultures, especially today. In 2022, the notion that ‘DDLJ’ could be adapted to present a vision of diverse cultures coming together in a story that celebrates love and the power it has to unify everyone, moves me greatly,” said Chopra.
Chopra directs a cast of 30, 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) as Roger.
Chopra said: “For me, Austin Colby as Roger and Shoba Narayan as Simran are the perfect vehicles to drive home this message of cultural unification in a fragmented world. They are joined by a cast, crew and creative team that represents all the extraordinary talent Indian cinema and Broadway have to offer. The representation and artistry of India reverberates through every part of this production. ‘Come Fall In Love’ is not only my heartfelt vision of ‘Love in Every Color’, as the musical’s finale puts it, but a celebration of joy, togetherness and inclusivity in a divisive and a growingly toxic world of intolerance. It is also my love letter to India and the Indian heritage we carry with us wherever we may be.”
“In making a new ‘DDLJ’ for a new moment and a new audience, I’ve departed from some aspects of the film that our fans revere. But I believe that the heart of ‘Come Fall In Love’ beats with everything that is essential in ‘DDLJ’ even as it speaks, sings and dances to this moment, in a different place and time, with hope, optimism and love,” Chopra added.
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.