‘Blame it on Bollywood’ (Photo: AGP World)
India’s leading live theater producer AGP World is arranging its first tour in North America and planning to open an office in New York as part of a global expansion.
Headed by founder/managing director Ashvin Gidwani, the privately-held company will stage 2 To Tango 3 To Jive in nine cities including NYC, New Jersey, Chicago, Huston, Dallas and Toronto, targeting the expat Indian communities, starting in February.
First performed in India in 2013, the comedy written, directed by and starring Saurabh Shukla revolves around a man in a mid-life crisis and his quest for extramarital affairs with three women. AGP World will also take the play, which has been performed more than 120 times in India, to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and the Middle East next year.
Gidwani is negotiating with U.S. promoters and theaters to bring his most successful property, Blame It On Bollywood aka Blame It On the Yashraj to the market in the latter part of next year, aimed at mainstream audiences. The plan is to start with a three-month run at an off-Broadway venue owned by the Shubert Organization. He intends to hire a GM in NYC in August/September to oversee operations.
The musical comedy which centers on a Punjabi/Bengali family’s feverish preparations for their daughter’s wedding to a Muslim guy has played to packed houses at an 1,800-seat casino in South Africa and as supper theater in a 5-star Singapore hotel, sponsored by a bank.
In India each performance generated around $10,000 in ticket revenue plus $7,500 in sponsorship. Among the sponsors tapped by the firm are property firms, tourism boards, hotels, banks, airlines and telcos.
Gidwani has led the way in developing commercial live theater in India and in exporting shows to the U.K. and Europe, Singapore, the Middle East, Far East, Australia and South Africa.