‘Monsoon Wedding’ the musical is not quite yet a happy marriage

NEW YORK — “You’re a South Delhi princess!” exclaims a companion of Aditi, the bride-to-be of the organized marriage in “Monsoon Wedding” the musical. “Are you really going to leave all this behind to be a housewife in Jersey?”

The rom-com mechanics kick in early on this amiably sugarcoated stage manufacturing, based mostly on director Mira Nair’s widespread 2001 movie of the similar title. The present turns the sitar-accented ragas of Indian classical music into present tunes, and envelops Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse in the saturated colours of the glowing saris worn in rich Delhi properties.

It’s beautiful to have a look at, courtesy of David Bengali’s virtuosic video wall and Arjun Bhasin’s attractive costumes. Vishal Bhardwaj’s melodies are persistently sprightly, and the present boasts some interesting performances, particularly in Salena Qureshi’s Aditi and Deven Kolluri as her banker husband-to-be, Hemant, from Hoboken, N.J. Still, there’s one thing pat about the entire enterprise, redolent of the canned characters and contrived plot twists of a classic household TV comedy, that stops “Monsoon Wedding” in need of specialness.

Nair, who conceived and directs the manufacturing, has worked for years on remodeling her film into a singable reside occasion. She nonetheless has some work to do in explicating motivation and knitting the severe and foolish threads collectively. For one factor, we don’t study till very late in the proceedings why the worldly, Princeton-educated Hemant would journey hundreds of miles to take part in a hidebound matrimonial custom. Nor are the comedian prospects sufficiently mined in the couple’s meet-awkward get-together. How they progress from strangers to lovers is unconvincing.

A far too clownishly drawn wedding ceremony planner, performed by Namit Das, a part of a working-class romantic couple with the marvelous Anisha Nagarajan, feels as if a cartoon has been shoehorned into a sitcom. And a subplot about incest that unfolds in Act 2 is cursorily revealed and resolved in a few brief scenes that increase extra questions than they reply.

One can see the place the moments of musical inspiration do happen, notably in the vivacious opening quantity, “Rain Is Coming/Tip Tip Tip.” An impending monsoon, sung about by the solid of 21, foreshadows different storms to come back. The quantity, with lyrics by Masi Asare and Susan Birkenhead, set to Bhardwaj’s music, is thrilling not simply because it embraces joyfulness on set designer Jason Ardizzone-West’s thrust stage, but additionally as a result of the area bubbles with Indian and Indian American expertise en masse.

Gagan Dev Riar, for instance, finds a touching essence to Lalit, Aditi’s father. He sings maybe the present’s most affecting and efficient ballad, “Come Home, Ria,” to his niece, performed by the radiant Sharvari Deshpande. Palomi Ghosh, Meetu Chilana and Sargam Ipshita Bali are very important presences. With accompaniment by an eight-member band, carried out by Emily Whitaker (and together with Soumitra Thakur on sitar), the evocative dances assist with the phantasm of a journey to a different tradition. The credit score goes to choreographer Shampa Gopikrishna and motion director Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.

All the nurturing Nair has executed to this musical model of “Monsoon Wedding,” first produced in 2017 by California’s Berkeley Rep, actually reveals. Attention now has to concentrate on infusing the central characters with extra depth — making them extra unique creations. If she and e book writers Arpita Mukherjee and Sabrina Dhawan might refine a few of the plotting and tone down a few of the silliness, the street to Delhi can be one I’d be happy to set off on once more.

Monsoon Wedding, e book by Arpita Mukherjee and Sabrina Dhawan, music by Vishal Bhardwaj, lyrics by Masi Asare and Susan Birkenhead. Directed by Mira Nair. Lighting, Bradley King; sound, David Schnirman; orchestrations, Jamshied Sharifi and Rona Siddiqui. With Alok Tewari, Miriam A. Laube, Jonathan Raviv, Rhea Yadav. About 2½ hours. Through June 25 at St. Ann’s Warehouse, 45 Water St., Brooklyn. stannswarehouse.org.

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