Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding tickets on sale now Page to Stage: A conversation with director Mira Nair May 15 8pm Monsoon Wedding Be social! See behind-the-scenes photos, watch videos, and follow the cast on Berkeley Rep’s social channels

Monsoon Wedding

Book by Sabrina Dhawan
Music by Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Directed by Mira Nair
Main Season · Roda Theatre
May 5–June 25, 2017
World premiere

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.

We expect this show to include one 15-minute intermission. We’ll update this information, and add running time, once we have confirmation.

Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We will post this information as soon as it’s available. 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.


Season sponsors

BARTPeet’s CoffeeWells Fargo

Media sponsor

India West

Buy tickets

Current ticket prices

Premium: $70–125 · Section A: $55–110 · Section B: $40–90
Discount available for anyone under the age of 30

Looking for VIP seats?

Get access to prime location house seats by joining the Artistic Director’s Circle with a tax-deductible gift of $1,500 or more. Email give@berkeleyrep.org to start enjoying your VIP benefits today.

Bring your whole party to the wedding!

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Are you with a community non-profit? Ask how we can help your organization with fundraising. Contact our Audience Development Manager Samanta Cubias.

Prices are subject to change at any time. Generally, your best bet is to buy early. Weeknight tickets tend to cost less than weekends.

Monsoon Wedding calendar

Creative team

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Mira Nair

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 film-making school for East Africans, in 2005. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013, India’s distinguished civilian honour.

Vishal Bhardwaj

Vishal is an Indian film music composer, director, writer, and playback 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

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.

Stay tuned for additional creative team information.

Cast

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Monsoon Bissell · Shashi

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. 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.

Monsoon Bissell

Meetu Chilana* · Grandmother

Meetu is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Her 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), as well as acting in The Shaking Earth (New York Theatre Workshop), Jihad: The Musical (Edinburgh), Seven.11 Convenience Theater (Kraine Theater), The Art of Panhandling (Henry Street Settlement), and Barely Breathing (Theater Row). 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. Visit MeetuMusic.com.

Meetu Chilana

Emielyn D. Das · Aliya

Emielyn is a singer, dancer, and actress. She is of mixed Indian descent and has been singing from Vietnamese folk to Hebrew hymns and acting in Bengali, Hindi, and English movies and plays. 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 EP, which will be released soon, self written and composed. Emielyn has been cast as Jean in August: Osage County, the Wolf in Into the Woods, young Maya in 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.

Emielyn D. Das

Namit Das · 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.

Namit Das

Sharvari Deshpande · Ria

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.

Sharvari Deshpande

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.

Palomi Ghosh

Rohan Gupta · Varun

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.

Rohan Gupta

Jaaved Jaaferi · Lalit

Jaaved “JJ” Jaaferi is globally popular in various ways with varied audiences. He is an actor, a dancer extraordinaire, voice artist, choreographer, producer, and general scene stealer. Right from his first Hindi film, Meri Jung (1985), Jaaved has proven his wont to create iconic characters across 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 even 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 even created and judged Boogie Woogie, India’s first reality dance show on TV that had a weekly run for 17 years nonstop. JJ has continuously performed live on stage, in dance shows, stand-up routines, and Bollywood and variety shows. This is his first foray on the professional stage.

Jaaved Jaaferi

Dani Jazzar · Ensemble

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.

Dani Jazzar

Mahira Kakkar* · Pimmi

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.

Mahira Kakkar

Namita Kapoor* · Ensemble

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. She recently choreographed for the first annual Broadway Bares SF (Club Fugazi) and is currently on faculty at ODC and Alonzo King Lines Dance Center.

Namita Kapoor

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. She is founder of House of Kiran & Maple Batalia Memorial Scholarship for the Arts supporting South Asian female arts students. Additionally thrilled to be sharing the stage for the first time with her beau Ali Momen (with puppy Rumi in tow)! Connect @krystalkiran.

Krystal Kiran

Michael Maliakel · Hemant

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.

Michael Maliakel

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.

Ali Momen

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.

Anisha Nagarajan

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.

Andrew Prashad

Alok Tewari* · Tej

Alok is making his Berkeley Rep debut. His theatre credits include 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 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.

Alok Tewari

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 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.

Levin Valayil

Kuhoo Verma · Aditi

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.

Kuhoo Verma

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.

Sorab Wadia

* Indicates a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Watch now

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.

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.

Interested in becoming a docent? Click here for details. For more information about Berkeley Rep’s docent program, please email docent@berkeleyrep.org.

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

Mira NairReserved seating for this special event is full. Standby seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on the night of the event. We expect, though can’t guarantee, that seats will become available.

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

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

Teen Night begins at 6:30pm at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. Tickets are $10. Learn more. To reserve your space, call Teen Council at 510 647–2984 or email teencouncil@berkeleyrep.org.

Post-show discussions

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