Book by Sabrina Dhawan
Music by Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Directed by Mira Nair
Main Season · Roda Theatre
May 5–July 16, 2017
Running time: approximately 2 hours, plus one 15-minute intermission. This is a new musical and run time may vary.
You’re invited to the wedding of the season! Award-winning film director Mira Nair brings her exuberant and sumptuous Monsoon Wedding to Berkeley Rep’s stage in this highly anticipated world premiere musical. The perfect storm starts brewing when family members from around the world descend on Delhi for a nonstop four-day celebration of an arranged marriage between a modern upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter and an Indian-American guy she’s never met. But the bride is having an affair, her father’s financial troubles deepen, and dark family secrets surface. The forecast calls for drama, love, hope, laughs, and a whole lot of rain.
Monsoon Wedding includes haze, fog, and strobe effects. Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office.
Mira Nair · Director
Mira was born and raised in Orissa, India, and graduated from Delhi and Harvard universities. A student of the theatre, she worked as an actress in the Badal Sircar’s street theatre in Kolkata in 1975, and Barry John’s Theatre Action Group in New Delhi 1974–76. In New York, she apprenticed at Ellen Stewart’s La MaMa, working with Joseph Chaikin and the Talking Band. She began making documentary films in the ‘70s. Her narrative feature debut, Salaam Bombay! (1988), won the Camera D’Or at Cannes and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. A prolific independent filmmaker who casts unknowns alongside Hollywood stars, Mira has directed Mississippi Masala (1991), The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996), the Golden Lion-winning Monsoon Wedding (2001), Hysterical Blindness (2002), Vanity Fair (2004), The Namesake (2006), Amelia (2009), and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012). Her most recent film, Queen of Katwe, about a Ugandan girl with an aptitude for chess, stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. A longtime activist, Mira founded Salaam Baalak Trust for street children in 1988, and Maisha, a free filmmaking school for East Africans, in 2005. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013, India’s distinguished civilian honour.
Sabrina Dhawan · Book
This is Sabrina’s first time writing for the stage. Produced screenwriting credits include Monsoon Wedding, Cosmopolitan, 9/11, Kaminey, and Ishqiya, Rangoon. Sabrina received a BA (English) from Delhi University, an MA (Communications Research) from University of Leicester, and an MFA (Film) from Columbia University. She is also a professor at the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.
Vishal Bhardwaj · Composer / Arrangements
Vishal is a filmmaker, composer, director, writer, and singer. He also produces films under his banner VB Pictures. Vishal has composed music and songs for numerous films such as Maachis (1996), Satya (1998), Chachi 420 (1998), Godmother (1999), and the wildly popular theme songs for The Jungle Book in Hindi. As a director, he is known for his adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays—Maqbool (2003), based on Macbeth; Omkara (2006), based on Othello; and Haider (2014), based on Hamlet. Other directorial titles include Makdee (2002), The Blue Umbrella (2005), Kaminey (2009), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), and Matru ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013). His music and films have won several national and international awards.
Susan Birkenhead · Lyricist
Susan received a Tony Award nomination for her first show, Working, in 1978. She received another Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her lyrics for Jelly’s Last Jam (1992). She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Triumph of Love (1998), and won an Outer Critics Circle Award for What About Luv? (1984). She won an L.A. Drama Critics Award for Minsky’s (2009). Regional theatres she has worked at include Long Wharf Theatre; Goodman Theatre; the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Canada; the Mark Taper Forum; Yale Repertory Theatre; and Baltimore’s Center Stage. She is currently working on The Secret Life of Bees with Lynn Nottage, Duncan Sheik, and Sam Gold, and Betty Boop with David Foster, Sally Robinson, and Jerry Mitchell.
Lorin Latarro · Choreographer
Lorin choreographed Broadway’s Waitress, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar transfer), Waiting for Godot (Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (associate choreographer), the Public Theater’s Twelfth Night and Odyssey (the Delacorte Theater), Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street and Peter and the Wolf at BAM, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Fanny (Encores), Queen of the Night (Drama Desk Award), As You Like It (director Michael Mayer in Toho Tokyo), Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre Center), Taste of Things To Come (the York, as director), Beaches (Drury Lane), Kiss Me, Kate (Barrington Stage Company), and Green Day’s American Idiot (Berkeley Rep and Broadway, associate choreographer). Lorin performed in 12 Broadway shows, and danced for Tharp, Momix, and Martha Graham. Lorin is a Bucks County Playhouse artistic associate, and a Juilliard graduate and adjunct professor. Upcoming projects include Independence for Des McAnuff, Assassins for Encores, and La Traviata for the Metropolitan Opera.
Carmel Dean · Music Supervisor / Arrangements
Carmel is a New York-based, Australian-born composer, musical director, and arranger. She is thrilled to be returning to Berkeley Rep after having been musical director for American Idiot here and on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include If/Then, Hands on a Hardbody, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As a composer, her work includes the new musical All I Could See (book by Dick Scanlan, currently in development with NYC’s Transport Group). She is a graduate of NYU’s Musical Theatre Writing Program and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Visit carmeldean.com.
Mayukh Sarkar · Arrangements
Mayukh is a musician with 20 years of experience in this field. He specializes in playing the guitar, bass guitar, tenor banjo, and mandolin and played with various artists in India. He has been conducting guitar workshops in many Indian cities since 2004. He joined Indian film industry in 2010. He has been assisting Vishal Bhardwaj as a music assistant since 2014. He has been associated with Monsoon Wedding since 2015. It is an honor to be associated with Berkeley Rep. Mayukh completed his high school in 1998. He went on playing the guitar and exploring music since then.
Greg Kenna · Music Director
Greg’s previous credits include Frozen (workshop), An American in Paris (Broadway and Paris), The Wiz Live! (NBC), Dogfight (Second Stage Theatre; music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), The Sound of Music and Guys and Dolls (Carnegie Hall), Hair (international tour), Lempicka (music and lyrics by Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer), and You Never Know and Lysistrata Jones (Meadow Brook Theatre). He is a graduate of NYU/Steinhardt.
Mike Brun · Co-Orchestrator
Mike is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and multi-instrumentalist known for the wide range of his projects and skills. This is Mike’s first production at Berkeley Rep. Other theatre credits include music director/onstage musician for Mr. Burns (Playwrights Horizons), co-arranger/orchestrator/onstage musician for Twelfth Night (Delacorte Theater), music director/arranger/onstage musician for Tumacho (Wild Project), and co-arranger/onstage musician for Old Hats (Signature Theatre). Mike is composer of Bull’s Hollow (in development as a Jerome Foundation grant-funded commission for Ars Nova) and a co-composer of The Gray Man and Folk Wandering. He serves as adjunct faculty at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and is an alum of the 2014–15 Civilians Research & Development Group as well as the 2014 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project.
Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams · Scenic Design
Mikiko’s work has been seen at the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, the Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, A Contemporary Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cornerstone Theater Company, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, among others. Her off-Broadway credits include Working Theater, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Intar Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the National Asian American Theatre Company. Her work has been seen internationally at the Nissay Opera, Nikikai Opera, Suntory Hall, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Tokyo, Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, and Biwako Hall in Otsu. As an associate scenic designer, her Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Golden Boy, That Championship Season, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Next Fall, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Mikiko currently teaches at Rutgers University and Fordham University.
Arjun Bhasin · Costume Design
This production marks Arjun’s return to Monsoon Wedding; he designed the costumes for the 2001 film. It is his fifth collaboration with Mira Nair—their projects include The Namesake, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Kama Sutra. Today, Arjun shuttles effortlessly between Hollywood and Bollywood, crisscrossing sensibilities and ideologies. Recent film and television work includes Marielle Heller’s upcoming film Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Melissa McCarthy, HBO’s Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker, 3 Generations, Love Is Strange, Begin Again, and Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Life of Pi. Bollywood films include Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do, Rang De Basanti, and Dil Chahta Hai. Arjun studied film and design at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Donald Holder · Lighting Design
Donald previously designed Zora Neale Hurston’s Spunk and Maurice Sendak’s Brundibar at Berkeley Rep. His recent work on Broadway includes Anastasia, Oslo, In Transit, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, The Father, The King and I, On the Twentieth Century, The Bridges of Madison County, Golden Boy, Spiderman—Turn Off the Dark, Ragtime, Movin’ Out, The Boy From Oz, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and many others. He has designed over 50 Broadway productions, received two Tony Awards (The Lion King and South Pacific) and 11 Tony nominations. Opera credits include Otello, Two Boys, The Magic Flute, and the upcoming Samson et Delilah at the New York Metropolitan Opera, Carmen for the Chicago Lyric and Houston Grand Opera, and Death and the Powers and Moby Dick for the Dallas Opera. For television, he designed the theatrical lighting for seasons one and two of Smash (NBC Dreamworks). Donald is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, and currently a Professor of Lighting Design at Rutgers University.
Scott Lehrer · Sound Design
Scott received the first Tony awarded to sound for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific. Recent theatre work includes Richard Nelson’s Gabriel Family Plays at the Public Theater, the national tour of The King and I, the Broadway productions of Hello Dolly, The Front Page, Chicago, Shuffle Along, Fiddler on the Roof, Dames at Sea, The King and I, Living on Love, Honeymoon in Vegas, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the Sun, Lucky Guy, Chaplin (Drama Desk Award), and Mike Nichols’ productions of Death of a Salesman and Betrayal. He has also designed over 50 of New York City Center’s Encores series. Recording projects include the Broadway cast recording of An American in Paris (Grammy nomination), Loudon Wainwright’s Grammy-winning High Wide and Handsome, Bebe Neuwirth’s Porcelain, and Meredith Monk’s mercy. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Scott was faculty at Bennington College from 2001 until 2013.
Peter Nigrini · Projection Design
Peter’s Broadway credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2; Amélie, A New Musical; Dear Evan Hansen; An Act of God; Heidi Chronicles; The Best Man; Fela!; and 9 to 5. His other credits include Grounded and Here Lies Love (the Public Theater), Wakey, Wakey (Signature Theatre), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Second Stage Theatre), Notes from Underground (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Grace Jones Hurricane Tour, Rent (New World Stages), Real Enemies (BAM Next Wave Festival), and Blind Date (Bill T. Jones). For Nature Theater of Oklahoma, No Dice and Life & Times (Burgtheater, Vienna). His upcoming projects are Lucia di Lammermoor (Santa Fe Opera) and The SpongeBob Musical (Broadway 2017–18).
Gregg Curtis · Aerial Design
Gregg is an aerial director and designer conceiving gravity-defying action for live events, theatre, and filmed media. Gregg has worked with and for Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Polansky Shakespeare Center, Beyonce’s Formation Tour, Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour, The Bregenz Opera Festpiele’s Andre Chenier, Franco Dragone’s Le Reve at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria, and Delaguarda’s Villa Villa. He has designed and directed many corporate events for clients such as Red Bull Media House, The Gap, Adobe, and The Golden State Warriors/Chase Center “Groundbreaking Ceremony.” Gregg found his acrobatic roots in the sport of gymnastics in which he is a former U.S. national champion. Gregg is the executive artistic director of the Aerial Studio out of Ventura, CA, which is a circus arts training facility as well as a design and production hub for all things aerial.
Arpita Mukherjee · Dramaturg / Assistant Director
Arpita is the artistic director of Congressional Award-winning Hypokrit Theatre Company. Credits include My First Time, Romeo and Juliet, Eh Dah: Questions for My Father (Best Book at New York Musical Festival), and Queen (reading at Ma-Yi Theater Company). In 2015, she founded the first South Asian Performing Arts Festival in New York, Tamasha. Upcoming: How to Succeed as an Ethnically Ambiguous Actor (off Broadway). Arpita is grateful to Mira Nair for this opportunity and to the wondrous cast and creative team of Monsoon Wedding.
Cindy Tolan and Adam Caldwell · Casting
Cindy and Adam have worked together since 2005. Broadway credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time, Betrayal, Macbeth, Cinderella, A View From the Bridge, All My Sons, Xanadu, and Avenue Q. Film credits include Straight Outta Compton, Maggie’s Plan, The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, with TV credits including the upcoming HBO movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Michael Suenkel* · Stage Manager
Michael began his association with Berkeley Rep as the stage management intern for the 1984–85 season and is now in his 23rd year as production stage manager. Some of his favorite shows include 36 Views, Endgame, Eurydice, Hydriotaphia, and Mad Forest. He has also worked with the Barbican in London, the Huntington Theatre Company, the Juste Pour Rire Festival in Montreal, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Public Theater and Second Stage Theater in New York, and Yale Repertory Theatre. For the Magic Theatre, he stage managed Albert Takazauckas’ Breaking the Code and Sam Shepard’s The Late Henry Moss.
Karen Szpaller* · Assistant Stage Manager
Karen is thrilled to be back for her 13th season at Berkeley Rep. Her favorite past Berkeley Rep productions include Tribes, The Wild Bride, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Eurydice, Fêtes de la Nuit, Comedy on the Bridge/Brundibar, Compulsion, and Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West. Her favorites elsewhere include The Unfortunates, A Christmas Carol (2006–16), Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, 1776, Stuck Elevator, Blackbird, Curse of the Starving Class, and The Tosca Project at American Conservatory Theater; Anne Patterson’s art and theatrical installation Seeing the Voice: State of Grace and Anna Deavere Smith’s On Grace, both at Grace Cathedral; the national tour of Spamalot in San Francisco; Wild with Happy, Striking 12, and Wheelhouse at TheatreWorks; Ragtime and She Loves Me at Foothill Music Theatre; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at San Jose Repertory Theatre; Salomé at Aurora Theatre Company; and Urinetown: The Musical at San Jose Stage Company. Karen is the production coordinator at TheatreWorks.
Garrett Rollins* · Assistant Stage Manager
Garrett’s recent credits include, on Broadway, Our Mother’s Brief Affair (Manhattan Theatre Club), Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, and Wicked, and the first national tour of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. His off-Broadway credits include Kid Victory (Vineyard Theatre) and Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story. His regional credits include The Invisible Hand, Art, Red, and Camelot (Westport Country Playhouse). Garrett has an MFA in Stage Management from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre from the University of Maine.
Libby Stadstad · Assistant Scenic Designer
Chika Shimizu · Assistant Scenic Designer
G. Warren Stiles · Assistant Scenic Designer
China Lee · Assistant Costume Designer
Urmila Motwani · Assistant Costume Designer
Molly Houlahan · Assistant to Ms. Nair
Namita Kapoor · Associate Choreographer
Yuki Nakase · Associate Lighting Designer
Robert Figueira · Associate Projection Designer
Will Pickens · Associate Sound Designer
C. Andrew Bauer · Projection Editor
Nandini Shrikent · Additional Casting
Stephanie Gorin · Additional Casting
Nicholas Petrovich · Casting Associate
Sarna Lapine · Creative Consultant
Jessica Berman · Dialect Coach
David Aaron Brown · Music Assistant
Aharon Wheels Bolsta · Contractor
Kevin Porter · Contractor
JoAnn Kane Music / Russell Bartmus · Copyist
Alex Jackson · Copyist
Victoria Northridge · Studio Teacher
Monsoon Bissell · Shashi Chawla
Monsoon is making her debut at Berkeley Rep. She is the co-creator of Two Women Talking, a live, unscripted performance in which two women weave their life stories together—stories that take place between western and eastern worlds, touching on issues of personal identity, culture, gender, sexuality, violence, illness, and tradition. It has been performed in theatres and universities across the United States and India. She starred in Zindagi Channel’s Jackson Heights. Monsoon was the first assistant director of the film Monsoon Wedding. She holds a Master of Arts and a Master of Education from Columbia University in Psychological Counseling.
Meetu Chilana* · Grandmother
Meetu is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Select credits include principle vocalist in Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana (Radio City Music Hall, State Kremlin Palace Moscow) and Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza (national tour), along with The Shaking Earth (New York Theatre Workshop), and Jihad: The Musical (Edinburgh). She hosts for Visit the USA (US Tourism Board) and AVS TV, an internationally syndicated Bollywood program. She has released two original albums as a singer/songwriter and her voice-over work can be heard on Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4, Google, Cuisinart, and numerous books on Audible. BFA NYU Tisch, and drama at Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Visit MeetuMusic.com.
Emielyn D. Das · Aliya Chawla
Emielyn is a singer, dancer, and actress. She is of mixed Indian descent and has sung and acted in around five different languages. Emielyn has Facebook page with over 3,800 likes, a Soundcloud page with over 70,000 plays, and has just started a YouTube channel. For the past six months, she has been working on her first self written and composed EP, which will be released soon. Emielyn has been cast in August: Osage County, Into the Woods, and the feature film, The Valley, and has directed a children’s play called What Happened After Once Upon a Time and many more. Now debuting in Mira Nair’s musical Monsoon Wedding, Emielyn hopes to take her career far and to be forever in touch with the world of music and theatre.
Namit Das · PK Dubey
Namit is making his Berkeley Rep debut. He is a regular face on Indian television and films and has been working in the theatre for over 12 years. He has been involved with the long-running Mumbai hit, Hamlet the Crown Prince, for eight years. Other theatre credits include Stories in a Song and The President Is Coming. Film credits include the much acclaimed Wake Up Sid, Ghanchakkar, and Ankhon Dekhi. Television credits include Sumit Sambhal Lega (the official Indian version of Everybody Loves Raymond). For the past two years he has been performing with his band, Namit Das+Anurag Shanker.
Sharvari Deshpande · Ria Verma
Sharvari is currently living in New York and making her Berkeley Rep debut. Regional theatre credits include Kyun Kyun Ladki (Gillo Theatre Repertory), Hanuman Ki Ramayan, and She-He-Shey. New York theatre credits include Chokher Bali and The Queen. She is also trained in Indian music and dance. She is studying acting at Columbia University.
Palomi Ghosh · Vijaya / Naani
Palomi is a film/theatre actor. Her latest film, Mukti Bhavan (Hotel Salvation), premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival, 2017. Prior to that she received the President’s Award for her role in Nachom-ia Kumpasar (Let’s dance to the rhythm), an Indian Jazz biopic based in 1960s Goa. She played Carmen in the Indian adaptation of George Bizet’s opera set in a contemporary nightclub. She has also worked on the yet-to-release Gandhi of the Month, a feature film starring Harvey Keitel. Palomi is a graduate in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University whose interest in acting peaked when she took theatre electives in final year of university.
Rohan Gupta · Varun Verma
Rohan is making his professional theatre debut at Berkeley Rep. He is a graduate of Bard College where he performed in productions including The Importance of Being Earnest, Elektra, and Woyzeck. He has appeared in the films The Reluctant Fundamentalist (directed by Mira Nair) and Framed. Born and raised in India, Rohan now calls New York City home.
Jaaved Jaaferi · Lalit Verma
Jaaved “JJ” Jaaferi is globally popular in various ways with varied audiences. He is an actor, a dancer, voice artist, choreographer, and producer. From his first Hindi film, Meri Jung (1985), Jaaved has created iconic characters over 60 Hindi films. Some of the films he has acted in—Fire, Salaam Namaste, Singh Is Kinng, Boom, The Forest, Bang Bang!, and more—have breached the global market. On Indian TV, JJ created and acted in path-breaking shows like Flashback and Timepass on the then newly launched Channel V (India). He co-created and judged Boogie Woogie, India’s first reality dance show on TV that had a weekly run for 17 years. He has performed live on stage, in dance shows, stand-up routines, Bollywood, and variety shows. Jaaved is very excited to make his Berkeley Rep debut.
Dani Jazzar · Swing
Dani is excited to be making his Berkley Rep debut. His European credits include Saturday Night Fever (Cologne, European tour), Miami Nights (Dusseldorf), and Fame the musical (UK tour). Canadian credits include Bernardo in several productions of West Side Story (Vancouver Opera, Citadel Edmonton, Theatre Calgary); UPS guy in Legally Blonde, Cabaret, and Spamalot (Theatre Aquarius/Drayton Entertainment); Rum Tum Tugger in Cats (Stirling Festival Theatre); Pirates of Penzance, 9 to 5 The Musical, Oklahoma!, and The Little Mermaid (Drayton Entertainment); Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage West Calgary); and several Christmas pantomimes (Elgin Theatre/Ross Petty Productions). His film and TV credits include appearances in American Gods, The Strain, Covert Affairs, Nikita, Traitor, Anon, Mirror Mirror, The Love Guru, and Once Upon a Mattress.
Mahira Kakkar* · Pimmi Verma
Mahira is making her Berkeley Rep debut. New York credits include Trial of An American President and Sophistry (Theatre Row), Romeo and Juliet (the Public Theater), Clive (the New Group), Opus (Primary Stages), Miss Witherspoon (Playwrights Horizons), When January Feels Like Summer (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Betrothed (Ripe Time), The Ragged Claws (Cherry Lane Theatre), Harper Regan (Atlantic Theatre), and Cavedwellers (the Pearl Theatre Company). Select regional credits include work at Hartford Stage, the Huntington Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Cleveland Playhouse, the Old Globe, Denver Center Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, Center Stage in Baltimore, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Film work includes Oil and Vinegar, Hechki, Hank and Asha, and A Night in the Hill. TV credits include Blue Bloods, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Odd Mom Out, The Big C, and Blacklist. Mahira is a proud member of EST, Hero Theatre, and the Actors Center. Training—Juilliard. Visit mahirakakkar.com.
Namita Kapoor* · Swing
Namita is making her Berkeley Rep debut. She is the artistic director of Hindu Swing, a rhythmic dance journey exploring Jack Cole’s relationship between American jazz and classical Indian dance. Performing credits include the first national tour of Bombay Dreams (Theater of the Stars), The King and I (American Musical Theater), Corposonic (Lincoln Center), Jazz Tap Ensemble (the Joyce Theater), The International Body Music Festival (SF Jazz), The Love Guru (Paramount Pictures), and Just Dance India (Star TV). Her choreographer, performer, and teacher credits span from India, Brazil, Turkey, and Iceland to Japan, and she works actively in the styles of jazz, tap, and Indian contemporary choreography. She has worked with Gregory Hines, Baayork Lee, Lynn Dally, Marguerite Derricks, Hrithik Roshan, Farah Khan, and Vaibhavi Merchant. Visit namitakapoor.com.
Krystal Kiran · Saroj Rai
Krystal is honored to be making her Berkeley Rep debut. Select live stage/theatre credits include Bombay Dreams (original Broadway cast, Broadway Theatre NYC), lead vocalist on AR Rahman’s Jai Ho World Tour (Arenas), Lord of the Rings (Princess of Wales, Toronto), and West Side Story (Citadel, Edmonton). Select film/television credits include Suicide Squad, Hairspray, Private Eyes, Minority Report, Hemlock Grove, Workin’ Moms, Hellcats, and The Love Guru. Krystal is an honorary graduate of Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and scholarship graduate of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the Banff Centre. Passionate about teaching, she has taught extensively across the U.S., Canada, Europe, UK, and India and is founder of House of Kiran & Maple Batalia Memorial Scholarship for the Arts supporting South Asian female arts students. Connect @krystalkiran.
Michael Maliakel · Hemant Rai
Michael is making his Berkeley Rep debut. A classically trained baritone, Michael’s stage credits include the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, the Shoe Salesman in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Monsieur Presto in Les mamelles de Tirésias, and the Baritone in Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox. He recently appeared in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and Britten’s Curlew River with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Michael has performed as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles across the country, including the Savannah Philharmonic, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Aeolus Quartet, the Greenwich Choral Society, and the Long Island Choral Society. Awards include First Prize in the American Traditions Competition, First Prize in the NATS National Music Theater Competition, and Third Prize in the Lotte Lenya Competition. Visit michaelmaliakel.com.
Ali Momen · Vikram / Congress
Ali is thrilled to be making his Berkeley Rep debut with this amazing team. A Canadian, his credits include Disgraced (Mirvish), Much Ado About Nothing (Tarragon Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage), Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre), Iceland (Why Not Theatre), Sultans of the Street (Young People’s Theatre, Dora Award), and Born Yesterday, An Ideal Husband, Serious Money, After The Dance, and Devil’s Disciple for the Shaw Festival. His film and television credits include Beeba Boys (dir. Deepa Mehta), Traitor (dir. Jeffrey Nachmanoff), Houdini and Doyle, Incorporated, The Strain, All Gamer, Kim’s Convenience, L.A. Complex, and Combat Hospital.
Anisha Nagarajan* · Alice
Anisha is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Broadway credits include the role of Priya in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber and AR Rahman’s Bombay Dreams (Broadway Theatre), and the Actors’ Fund benefit concert of Hair (New Amsterdam Theatre). Most recently, she performed in the concert production of Secret Garden at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. Regional credits include Princesses (5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle), The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse), and Rent (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca). She is best known for her role as Madhuri on NBC’s television series Outsourced. Other television and film credits include Rita (Bravo/Fox), Ugly Betty (ABC), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Code Black (CBS), and Jane Wants a Boyfriend, currently available for viewing on Showtime. She has performed with AR Rahman, U2’s Bono and the Edge, and Devo. She has a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Andrew Prashad · Mohan Rai / Tameesuddin
Andrew is making his Berkeley Rep debut. A trained and versatile dancer as well as a musician, singer, and actor, he is quickly becoming one of the leading tap dance artists in Canada, teaching and choreographing across North and South America. He is an award-winning actor, composer, and writer, having recently had his self-produced short film officially selected in 12 festivals around the world and winning four awards including Best Short Film. He was a featured singer and dancer on 20th Anniversary World Tour of Riverdance and recently finished a production of Anything Goes with Drayton Entertainment. Andrew just finished mounting his one-person show One Step at a Time to critical acclaim, and is extremely excited to journey forward with the Monsoon Wedding team. He graduated from the University of Toronto at Mississauga with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance as well as French Literature.
Alok Tewari* · Tej
Alok is making his Berkeley Rep debut. His theatre credits include The Strangest (Semitic Root); The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company); Awake and Sing! (the Public Theater/NAATCO); The Queen, Martyrs Street, and Blind Angels (Theater for the New City); A Fable, Through the Yellow Hour, and War (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Bunty Berman Presents, Rafta, Rafta…, and Marie and Bruce (the New Group); Night Over Erzinga and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Lark); Masked (Buenos Aires); Inana (Denver Center Theatre Company); Betrothed (Ripe Time); and Marco Polo (the Group, Argentina). Television credits include Iron Fist, House of Cards, Royal Pains, The Blacklist, Madam Secretary, Deadbeat, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, Homeland, Fringe, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Guiding Light. Films include Shelter and Brooklyn’s Finest.
Levin Valayil* · Lottery
Levin is making his Berkeley Rep debut. Regional credits include Craig Carnelia and Joe Tracz’s Poster Boy directed by Stafford Arima (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and The Fabulous Lipitones (the New Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Virginia Repertory Theatre). He recently performed in the new musical We Live in Cairo as a part of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre at New World Stages, and has been seen by New York audiences as Bhuvan in Bollywood and Vine (the Lion Theatre) and as Michael in Zuccotti Park (Robert Moss Theater). Levin received first place in the Classical Singer Vocal Competition in the Young Artist/Music Theater division in 2013. He has a BM in music therapy and voice performance from Berklee College of Music and an MFA in musical theater from Boston Conservatory.
Kuhoo Verma · Aditi Verma
Kuhoo is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Her New York credits include Good Kids, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Spring Awakening (New York University). Film credits include Judd Apatow’s The Big Sick. She was also a soloist at the album premiere of Calling All Dawns at Lincoln Center, by Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin.
Sorab Wadia* · CL Chawla
Sorab is making his Berkeley Rep debut. Born in Bombay, India, he has performed internationally as an actor and singer in an eclectic mélange of projects ranging from The Play of Daniel, a medieval music-drama, to the notorious Jihad! The Musical on London’s West End. Last summer he was honored to play Shylock and Gratiano in a historic production of The Merchant of Venice performed outdoors in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy. He garnered rave reviews for his performance as Ali Hakim on the Broadway tour of Trevor Nunn’s production of Oklahoma! Sorab tours internationally with Kite Runner, a one-man play directed by Wynn Handman. Off-Broadway shows include The Tempest (LaMama), Bunty Berman Presents… (the New Group), and Nymph Errant. TV credits include The Blacklist: Redemption, Madame Secretary, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 30 Rock, and Chapelle’s Show. Films include The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim, and Suburban Girl. You can find more at SorabWadia.com and follow him on Facebook at SorabWadiaPerformer.
Ryan Black** · Trombone / Tuba
As a multi-low brass instrumentalist, Ryan is performing in many different genres, from the classical concert hall to the salsa clubs. He is seen playing tenor trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba around the Bay Area’s bustling music scene, having performed with many of the area’s finest orchestras here and in several states of Mexico. Oftentimes he is seen playing in the pit for Broadway shows in San Francisco and Sacramento on multiple instruments. He is currently working with the Tommy Igoe Big Band, the Fil Lorenz Orchestra, Avance, and the Marcus Shelby Orchestra. He has performed in horn sections for the Temptations, Natalie Cole, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra Jr., the O’Jays, Sheila E., Wayne Newton, Idina Menzel, and Kevin Spacey. Ryan can be heard on a variety of recordings, including Pacific Mambo Orchestra’s Grammy-winning self-titled album.
Scott Englebright** · Trumpet
Scott has been a professional musician since leaving University of North Texas to play lead on Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1995. In addition to playing lead on Maynard’s band, Scott has toured as lead player with Paul Anka, Bobby Caldwell, and Woody Herman. Scott’s favorite regional theatre credits include Mambo Kings, Annie, 42nd Street, Spamalot, and White Christmas. National tours include West Side Story and I Love Lucy—Live on Stage. Scott can be heard on the cast album of A Chorus Line among several big band recordings, radio, and television. Scott currently plays with Transcendence Theater Company of Glen Ellen and the Santa Rosa Symphony. Scott resides in Vallejo and you can check out his work on YouTube.
Russ Gold** · Drums
Russ is enjoying his third production at Berkeley Rep having performed with Emma Rice’s acclaimed company Kneehigh in Tristan & Yseult and in Berkeley Rep’s An Audience with Meow Meow. Russ has toured extensively with productions of Jersey Boys and Julie Taymor’s The King Stag. Russ’ local productions include Wicked (Orpheum), Rent (Golden Gate), and Chicago (Harris Center). Russ pursued acting at American Conservatory Theater and has been featured in local and national television broadcasts. A CBS recording artist with jazz group Full Circle, Russ is thrilled to have been on the Grammy list twice for his work with Nando Lauria and Indian jazz group Natraj. Russ is a graduate of Berklee College where he received the Buddy Rich Jazz Master’s award.
Sascha Jacobsen** · Acoustic and Electric Bass
Sascha was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. Sascha has performed with Rita Moreno (Life Without Makeup, Berkeley Rep), Hugh Jackman, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin & Patti LuPone, Marc Shaiman, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Lippa, and many others. He is the founder of the Musical Art Quintet, which performs his original works. Strad Magazine say his music is “…Stylish and Vigorous…beautifully arranged,” and the East Bay Express declared, “Classical Music is sexy again.” Sascha also performs with Argentine tango group, Trio Garufa, and can be found dancing tango when not performing music.
Schuyler McFadden** · Acoustic and Electric Guitar
Schuyler is excited to be returning to Berkeley Rep. Schuyler has been a local musician for the last decade in the Bay Area, playing many musicals such as Book of Mormon first national tour, Motown the Musical first national tour, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Cabaret, and many more. Schuyler’s last appearance at Berkeley Rep was with Amélie, and is excited to be part of another one of Berkeley Rep’s world premieres!
Deep Singh · Dhol / Dholak / Tabla / Daf / Percussion
Deep is making his Berkeley Rep debut. Born and raised in London, England, he has been steeped in music since the age of 3, and at 6 years old became a disciple of the late tabla master, Ustad Allah Rakha. Deep’s versatility as a performer, composer, producer, and engineer has given him a unique place in the music industry, resulting in some very innovative collaborations with leading artists from the East and West. Some of Deep’s work includes A.R. Rahman/Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Bombay Dreams, Twyla Tharp’s musical Come Fly Away, composing music for the prime minister of India “Anthem of Us” which debuted at Madison Square Garden and Times Square, Devo-Sutra, various projects with Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, ghost-writing for several pop artists, Sharabi (intoxication)—a band which combines bhangra and klezmer music. Visit halfkaste.com.
* Indicates a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
** Indicates a member of Musicians Union Local 6, American Federation of Musicians.
One of the primal joys of live theater, after all, is spectacle, the way it can transcend mere work of art and become a lavish event. At the giant transcontinental wedding of Aditi and Hemant, who meet and must reconcile their worldviews and expectations all within days before they wed, you’re not just voyeur but co-conspirator…As Hemant, [Michael] Maliakel has a baritone so tender that your eyes well as if by involuntary muscle trigger. As the servant Alice, Anisha Nagarajan trills bewitchingly among microtones. And as Aditi’s troubled cousin Ria, Sharvari Deshpande has the pure but weathered tone of a young Joni Mitchell.”
San Francisco Chronicle
Over and over, Nair demonstrates how familial love takes conflict and turns it into a raucous good time…A bracing vision of the complexity of being alive to other people…A unique and stunning statement of joy, an embrace of the moment when these characters, in big and small ways, let it go and just take on the reckless abandon of fun. When you realize that this can only happen with the love of family, abandoning their own interests for those who’ve been entrusted to their care, you’ll never listen to a father and a mother, a brother and a sister, or an uncle and a niece sing together in quite the same way.”
If Monsoon Wedding the film aimed to offer a more realistic version of a Bollywood fantasy, the stage musical returns the material to a heightened realm. As Ms. Nair pointed out, it is a natural fit for musical theater—the story ‘has music in its bones,’ she effused—but she has at her side collaborators, including Ms. Dhawan, who are unlikely to turn it into a frothy confection.”
In telling a story about the marriage of an arranged Indian American groom and an Indian bride, Monsoon has a new transcultural relevance in a polarized 2017. The time of the musical has been updated to the present day. ‘In addressing the complexity and fun and sometimes the tyranny of tradition,’ said Nair, ‘the show takes on this whole idea that’s taken root about “us” and “the other.” Actually, there is no other. We’re all in this together.’”
A swirling typhoon of sound and color…There’s a sweetness and lightness to the production that’s intoxicating…Vishal Bhardwaj’s infectious score and bewitching choreography by Lorin Latarro (Waitress) invoke traditional tropes while embracing the pulse of the now. Arjun Bhasin’s costumes, a shimmering sea of silk and sequins in saffron hues, never cease to dazzle the eye…The most poignant number of the night is a reverie from Dubey’s grandmother Naani (a tender turn by Palomi Ghosh) reliving the horrors of Partition, when Britain divided India and created Pakistan, in a song, ‘Love is Love,’ that deepens the musical with a sense of history and context.”
Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
Monsoon Wedding delivers on high hopes…A triumphant celebration…Without question, and unsurprisingly, Monsoon Wedding’s greatest moments come in song. (Music for the show was written by Vishal Bhardwaj, with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead.) My favorite was ‘Goddess of the Light,’ a duet between PK Dubey (played by Namit Das, a veteran Indian TV actor) and Alice (Anisha Nagarajan), a seductive and dreamlike candlelit interlude between otherwise raucous and celebratory numbers…Monsoon Wedding ultimately passes the most crucial test of any Indian wedding: It’s heavy on the masti—the Hindu word for ‘indubitable fun.’”
‘We have embraced full-on the complexity of today’s world,’ continues [Mira Nair] the director of the 2001 arthouse hit Monsoon Wedding. ‘When the film came out, it was almost the first portrait of globalization that people outside India had seen. Now, in the time of Trump, the doors are literally closing between borders. What we are bringing to you in Monsoon Wedding, the play, is a portrait of two things: an India that is complicatedly becoming a sort of real power, but also a portrait of America, since half our story is about America—an America that may not even let us in.’”
“If we won’t tell our stories, who will?”
Delve deeper into Monsoon Wedding with director Mira Nair, composer Vishal Bhardwaj, and lyricist Susan Birkenhead.
Official trailer: Monsoon Wedding
Get a sneak peek of the new hit musical from director Mira Nair!
Behind the scenes: Choreography
Choreographer Lorin Latarro shares her thoughts on creating dance for Monsoon Wedding.
“I loved it!”
Audiences are swooning for Monsoon Wedding!
Behind the scenes: Director Mira Nair
Peek at early rehearsals for Monsoon Wedding, and hear Mira Nair’s thoughts on bringing her film to the stage.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre
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Docent talks and discussions
Pre-show docent talks
Meet us in the Theatre an hour before the show on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an engrossing presentation about your subscription-season play. Hear about the playwright’s perspective, dive into the historical context, and discover why the script is relevant right now. Each 30-minute talk includes plenty of time for your questions.
Post-show docent-led discussions
Join your fellow audience members after all matinees and share your thoughts on the show.
Stick around after select performances for lively Q&A sessions with our artists on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.
- Thursday, June 1, 2017
- Tuesday, June 6, 2017
- Friday, June 16, 2017
Monsoon Wedding celebration
Buy tickets for Sunday, May 28 and join us for a Monsoon Wedding celebration at 5:30pm, featuring goodies from Vik’s Chaat Cart, lassi and iced chai by Dosa, and henna tattoos from Henna Garden Events and Entertainment, all available for purchase.
- Sunday, May 28, 2017
Page to Stage
Every season, Berkeley Rep hosts Page to Stage, a series of free discussions with eminent theatre artists, designed to give audiences additional insight into the plays and playwrights produced at Berkeley Rep. Past programs have featured theatre luminaries such as David Edgar, Sarah Jones, Tony Kushner, Delroy Lindo, Donald Margulies, Terrence McNally, Charles Mee, Rita Moreno, Salman Rushdie, and the Chicano performance trio Culture Clash.
- Monday, May 15, 2017 · 8pm
A conversation in the Peet’s Theatre with Mira Nair, who will direct the world premiere musical stage adaptation of her acclaimed 2001 film Monsoon Wedding
The event runs about 60 minutes and includes Q&A with the audience. The lobby opens at 7pm, and doors to the Theatre open at 7:30pm for seating. Berkeley Rep donors at the Contributor level or higher ($150+) enjoy preferred seating. For more information about Page to Stage or how to become a donor, call 510 647–2906.
Teen Night gives local teens the opportunity to meet for dinner and a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team before attending each subscription-season production at an extremely discounted price.
- Friday, May 5, 2017