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Bollywood? beyond New York...

Nona WALIA

Wednesday 5 May 2004

The dream has become a nightmare for the US media. Bombay Dreams has been labelled this year’s most ?trashy’ musical on Broadway. And the fine-print reads: It’s bland.

Says Ayesha Dharkar, actress in Bombay Dreams from NY, "The problem is New Yorkers really don’t understand Bollywood. They’re left wondering, is it a comedy, a tragedy or a musical? Bollywood has a bit of everything. We work on formulas. It’s not the usual stuff. It’s pure Bollywood!"

But critics feel that in bringing the reworked Dreams to the US, its creators have retooled it in the hope of making it more accessible to Bollywood virgins. "Ohh.. but I don’t think anything’s dramatically wrong with reworked Dreams.Even in London,we had some initial negative reaction. But I think here the critics are very cynical," says Ayesha, "They dislike Bollywood immensely and trash it with pleasure." But sales haven’t been affected. "We’re sold out. Negative criticism has gone in our favour. " But the criticism is still pouring in... Elysa Gardner of USA Today says, "AR Rehman’s music suggests the equivalent of a Big Mac sprinkled with curry powder." Is he agitated? "He’s above all this. Someone wrote Rehman’s music is like Britney Spears. Imagine that!"

Right now, it’s the "great clapping, singing and dancing" by the audience that’s keeping the Dreams team going. "It’s a high being here. Critics have to accept that the Bollywood genre exists.They just can’t be so dismissive of us."

delhitimes@indiatimes.com

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

ROTTEN TOMATOES

Expensive model of blandness.

- New York Times

An important contribution to the advancement of global culture: the wet sari.

- Washington Post

What sends the show down the drain is a tone deafness in the humour.

- Washington Post

How do you say ?mind-numbing bunk’ in Hindi? I’d like to propose a new English-language synonym: Bombay Dreams.

- USA Today

in The Times of india, Wednesday, May 5, 2004.

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