March 8 – April 17, 2022 | Mandell Weiss Theatre
Bhangin' It: A Bangin’ New Musical
Book by Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza | Music & Lyrics by Sam Willmott
Additional Music by Deep Singh | Musical Staging by Lisa Shriver
Choreography by Rujuta Vaidya | Directed by Stafford Arima
Find your beat. Find your team. Find yourself.
While East Lansing University senior Mary Darshini Clarke has spent her entire life trying to figure out where she fits in, she has always found community dancing on the school’s prestigious bhangra team. But when she becomes the self-appointed captain of a new team of enthusiastic novices more interested in making friends than the right moves, Mary quickly learns that carving out her own path complicates her journey. As the pressure of the big national competition approaches, can both teams learn that what makes them unique could actually be the key to their success? Bursting with vibrant dance and electrifying music, Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical is an exhilarating and joyous new musical comedy for America today.
“The diversity gives the show richly complex music and dance”
– The New York Times
“There’s lots to love…Jubilant, funny, accessible and entertaining…Well-crafted characters, quirky humor and touching moments…”
– The San Diego Union-Tribune
“High-bounce, high-energy…exuding joy…”
– San Diego Reader
“[Bhangin’ It] presents multiple sides of complex discussions around cultural identity … and genuinely addresses these topics and conversations without sacrificing story, character or crowd-pleasing humor.”
– Los Angeles Times
Cultural Consulting for Bhangin’ It provided by SRC Partners and Box Office Guru.
Media and In-Kind Sponsors
For performances of Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical, La Jolla Playhouse is requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of your performance, and that masks be worn for all patrons inside the theatres. For more information, please visit our Covid Safety Page.
Complete ticket flexibility! Purchase tickets today and if for any reason you cannot attend on your performance date, call Patron Services to discuss options such as exchange, refunds, gift certificates.
Top banner: Members of the cast of La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere production of Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical; photo by Rich Soublet II.
is beyond thrilled to return to La Jolla Playhouse, his hometown theatre. Previous collaborations with the Playhouse include serving as the 2018/19 Artist-in-Residence and a commission for The Colonialism Project (both with Rehana Lew Mirza), and the west coast premiere of his play TIGER STYLE! (also at Olney, Huntington and Alliance). His other plays include TEENAGE DICK (Ma-Yi at the Public, Donmar Warehouse, Wooly Mammoth, Artists Rep); BIKE AMERICA (Ma-Yi, Alliance) and MICROCRISIS (Ma-Yi, InterAct, Next Act). He and Ms. Lew Mirza are joint Mellon Foundation Playwrights-in-Residence at Ma-Yi Theater. Mike is a Dramatists Guild Council member, Tony voter and New Dramatists resident. Honors: Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships; PEN, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman and Kendeda awards. Education: Juilliard, Yale.Mike Lew Co-Librettist
Previous collaborations with La Jolla Playhouse include serving as the 2018/19 Artist-in-Residence and a commission for THE COLONIALISM PROJECT (both with Mike Lew). Her plays include: HATEFUCK (2019 production at Colt Coeur and WP Theater); A PEOPLE'S GUIDE TO HISTORY IN THE TIME OF HERE AND NOW (Primary Stages commission); SOLDIER X (Ma-Yi, Brooklyn College; 2015 Kilroys List; NYSCA/Lark commission); TOMORROW, INSHALLAH (Storyworks/HuffPost commission; production: Living Room Theater); NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH (NNPN/ InterAct commission); and BARRIERS (Desipina, Asian American Theater Company). Honors include: 2019 NYFA Fellow, HBO Access Fellow, Lilly Award and a TCG/New Georges Fellowship. She and Mike also share a Mellon Foundation National Playwright residency administered in partnership with Howlround at Ma-Yi Theater. M.F.A.: Columbia University; B.F.A.: NYU Tisch.Rehana Lew Mirza Co-Librettist
His projects include YO, VIKINGS! and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre's WAKE UP, DAISY! (both with Marcus Stevens); the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary SONG OF PARKLAND, STANDARDIZED TESTING – THE MUSICAL!!!! and the mini-musical SCARLET TAKES A TUMBLE. His written work has received the Kleban Prize, the Fred Ebb Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter and Harold Adamson Awards, MAC’s John Wallowitch Award, and the Kennedy Center ACTF Musical Theater Award. He has written over 150 songs for the Korean English-language children’s program, ENGLISH EGG, and taught at Harvard University, Pace University’s Musical Theater BFA, and Lincoln Center’s Songwriting in Schools Program. SamWillmott.com.Sam Willmott Composer/Lyricist
is a Grammy-nominated musician who has toured the world performing Indian Classical concerts. Singh's versatility as a performer, composer, producer has given him a unique place in the music industry resulting in some very innovative collaboration’s with leading artists from the East and West.Deep Singh Additional Music
Shriver’s Broadway credits include JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, THE STORY OF MY LIFE, RING OF FIRE. As Associate Choreographer: over 10 Broadway productions, including THE PRODUCERS, INTO THE WOODS, OKLAHOMA. Off-Broadway: INTO THE WOODS (Roundabout– Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography), FETCH CLAY MAKE MAN (NYTW). Selected regional: SIDEWAYS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (La Jolla Playhouse); SISTER ACT, ROCK OF AGES, AUSTEN'S PRIDE (Seattle 5th Ave); CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, THE TEMPEST – both with Christopher Plummer (Stratford Shakespeare Festival). Film: A BEAUTIFUL MIND, A CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH JIM CARREY, HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS. As Associate: THE POLAR EXPRESS, MIXED NUTS with Steve Martin, Center Stage. TV: A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS, BROAD CITY, THE DETOUR. Other: Phish’s NYE concert at MSG (3 years).Lisa Shriver Musical Staging
is a highly-accredited and globally-recognized Bollywood-style choreographer, who has been responsible for some of the biggest Bollywood musical extravaganzas in the entertainment industry. With choreography credits that include the Academy Awards 2009 – John Legend and AR Rahman’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE performance, Britney Spears’ The Circus tour, Black Eyed Peas’ The End Tour, AR Rahman World Tour, Priyanka Chopra’s “In My City”, Sridevi’s English Vinglish and the Disney-released CHEETAH GIRLS 3 - ONE WORLD, Ruj has emerged as a leading influence in the world of contemporary Bollywood dance. She has also released a hip-hop – Bollywood dance workout video called BYOU2 (www.byou.com) that has her collaborating with Sabrina Bryan of the Cheetah Girls on a dance instructional video for young girls that blends both styles from the east and the west.Rujuta Vaidya Choreographer
Arima is the Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary in Alberta, Canada. In 2015, he became the first Asian Canadian to direct a musical on Broadway when ALLEGIANCE opened at the Longacre Theatre. Arima was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of RAGTIME. Additional work: ALTAR BOYZ (Off-Broadway), CARRIE (MCC Theater), JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS (Stratford Festival), SATURDAY NIGHT (York Theatre Co., NYC); CANDIDE (San Francisco Symphony); THE TIN PAN ALLEY RAG (Roundabout Theatre), BARE (Off-Broadway 2012), and MARY AND MAX, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and BILLY ELLIOT (Theatre Calgary). Arima was the associate director of SEUSSICAL and A CLASS ACT on Broadway. He is a graduate of York University (Canada), and former adjunct and Granada Artist in Residence at the University of California, Davis.Stafford Arima Director
Bhangra Is Big on Campus. Now It’s Inspiring a Musical.– The New York Times
The Mandell Weiss Theatre is a 492-seat proscenium arch theatre, with two front rows of removable seats allowing for a greater stage length. The theatre also maintains an upstairs wooden deck for parties, receptions and outdoor gatherings, and a small outdoor amphitheatre for pre-show entertainment.
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