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Theatre Talk: Falling in love with a show

 

Last updated 9/23/2022 at 8:49am

In pink, Simran (Shoba Narayan) leads the opening dance at The World Premiere of "Come Fall in Love, the DDLJ Musical' now playing at The Old Globe in Balboa Park. Village News/Jim Cox photo

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

It's a hit! "Come Fall in Love" lives up to its title.

Opening the season at The Old Globe is the World Premiere of "Come Fall in Love" also known throughout India as "DDLJ Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge."

Destined for Broadway, the latest show at the Conrad Prebys Theatre burst into unrestrained joy just minutes after the curtain. Happiness rained over a beautifully dressed audience in sparkling Indian dress. For the first time in memory, the exuberant audience was dressed as gorgeously as the actors.

"DDLJ" is best defined as a cultural explosion of color, music, and dance.

Celebrated for being the longest running film in the history of cinema in Punjab, India, or probably anywhere around the world, "DDLJ's" original film was written 25 years ago by then 23-year-old Aditya Chopra.

Fast forward, the play opened its World Premiere at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park this September.

Playwright Nell Benjamin (creator of "Legally Blonde, The Musical" and the stage adaptation of the film "Mean Girls") tweaked the film's story location from London to New York. Best known in India as Vishal and Sheykhar, they wrote the toe-tapping inspirational musical score.

It took a cast the size of a Punjab village to retell Simran's (Shoba Narayan) story about her self-discovered true love, Rog (Austin Colby), and her arranged-marriage Indian bridegroom, Kuljit (Kinshuk Sen).

Besides the splendor of the costumes, projections, singing and dancing, "Come Fall in Love" distinguishes itself by embracing the Indian culture and how it blends into the fabric of America.

Do not hesitate to secure your seats for "Come Fall in Love, The DDLJ Musical" now playing at The Old Globe's Prebys Theater until Oct. 16. If you are planning to catch one show this year, this is it. Box office after 12 noon 619-234-5623 or https://www.theoldglobe.org/. Rated 10++ out of 10.

As a side note: it is easier to get the $17 prepaid parking than to try and squirrel a free parking spot inside Balboa Park especially on a moonless night. Since parking is limited, grab it when purchasing your tickets. Plus, ask for the physical address for the Valet Lot in order to set your GPS in time to snag a free shuttle ride to the box office – especially for night time performances.

If you attend a matinee performance, plan to pop into the San Diego Museum of Art to catch 17 of Pablo Picasso's abstract "Drawings and Prints" at 1450 El Prado. For more information, call 619-232-7931.

Shoulder to shoulder with The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse frequently introduces new works destined for Broadway. Last week, LJP opened another World Premiere, "Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)."

As it happened, after seeing "Fandango," I fretted all of last week trying to identify what went wrong with the playwright's message about coming to America.

It wasn't until last night's performance of "Come Fall in Love, DDLJ the Musical," that I solved my dilemma. Now I know.

It took the contrast between the two stories to elaborate on the simplicity of the difference. The Indian story is compelling because it celebrates the results of walking into America as legitimate immigrants versus sneaking across the border at night and whining about being apprehended and sent back.

In what should have been a celebration of South American culture and music instead it was a whiney conversation about our border patrol. The whole production rubbed me the wrong way. It was a spit in the eye to all legal immigrants and tax paying citizens. Closes Sept. 25. Tickets at https://lajollaplayhouse.org.This is unrated.

Kristina Wong opens at LJP in a one woman show Sept. 20 – Oct. 16 for a dose of liberal comedy. For tickets, call 858-550-1010.

I have an address correction for North Coast Repertory in Solana Beach. It is my hope that no one used the published address because instead of locating the theater, you'd have probably ended up in someone's living room. My bad. The correct address to North Coast Repertory to see their highly rated quirky production of "Annabella in July" stands corrected at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Suite D in Solana Beach; Box office: 858-481-1055 or https://northcoastrep.org/.

"Ain't Misbehavin," the Fats Waller Musical Show, opens in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts, Sept. 23 – Oct. 8. For tickets, call 800-988-4253 or visit https://artcenter.org/.

"The Outsider" opened last week at Scripps Ranch Theatre running until Oct. 9. Directed by Christopher Williams, this is bound to spark opinions from both sides. For tickets, call the Box office at 858-395-0573 or visit https://scrippsranchtheatre.org/. The theatre is located on the Avenue of Nations.

Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado is the home to Ken Ludwig's "Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" opening Oct. 1 – Nov. 20 at 1042 Orange Avenue. For tickets, call 619-437-6000 or visit https://www.lambsplayers.org/.

Broadway San Diego opens with "Cats" Sept. 27 – Oct. 2 at the downtown Civic Center. For tickets, call 619-564-3000 or visit https://www.broadwaysd.com/.

"Cabaret" continues until Oct. 2 in Old Town San Diego. Call 619-337-1525 or go to https://www.cygnettheatre.com/. Parking is limited so go early.

San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT) at 4650 Mercury St., San Diego will kick off with "Little Shop of Horrors, the Musical" Sept. 30. Free parking. For tickets, call 858-560-5740 or visit http://www.sdmt.org. Save 25% on groups of 12 or more.

Rafael Payare will conduct the San Diego Symphony in "Beethoven 5" Oct. 7 at the Rady Shell at 7:30 p.m. and again Oct. 8 in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m. Go to https://www.sandiegosymphony.org for tickets.

Watch for a new dinner and murder mystery show opening Oct. 9 by Curtain Call Company in Fallbrook.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]

 

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