Mughal-E-Azam, The Musical

September 5-8, 2024

Experience the sublime grandeur of ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’ in North America! Presented by Cinema on Stage, an entertainment company dedicated to bringing world-class productions to global audiences, this opulent production brings to life the timeless love story of Prince Salim and courtesan Anarkali, set against the backdrop of the ornate Mughal era.

With over 550 stunning costumes, magnificent sets, live performances of Indian classical singing, and dazzling Kathak choreography, this is the most expensive production in the history of Indian theatre.  Produced by Shapoorji Pallonji, the producers of K Asif’s ‘Mughal-E-Azam,’  and helmed by renowned director Feroz Abbas Khan, this larger-than-life production (with English subtitles) has already captivated audiences at 25 venues across India, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Oman and Qatar.

Don't miss your chance to witness this majestic musical, where love collides with social mores to create a grand symphony of charged emotions, artistry, musicality, lyricism, and breathtaking choreography.

Mughal-e-Azam at the David H. Koch Theater, September 5-8, 2024

'Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical' is a captivating theatrical experience that brings to life the nostalgia, romance, and supreme artistry of one of  Hindi cinema's most legendary films.

What makes it a one-of-a-kind offering:

• Spectacular production: The musical boasts intricately embellished sets, extravagant costumes, and stunning visual effects that transport the audience to the grandeur of the Mughal era.

• A classic love story: The play retells with both passion and sensitivity, the tragic love story of Prince Salim and Anarkali. It explores the themes of individual rebellion against authoritarian forces and restrictive social norms,  intergenerational conflicts, and much more and presents them in the form of a compelling spectacle like no other. 

• Immortal music: This album resplendent with 12 compositions based on classical and folk music,  is counted among the finest in Hindi cinema. From qawwalis like 'Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat', and 'Jab Raat Hai Aisi Matwali' to classical ditties like 'Prem Jogan Ban Ke' and 'Shubh Din Aayo' to a naat like 'Bekas Ka Karam Keeje' to the ultimate proclamation of rebellious love, 'Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya,'  the music continues to stir listeners more than 60 years after the film's release. The same melodies are now replicated in the musical and choreographed to perfection to create an immersive theatrical experience.

• Brilliant cast of actors : The production features a talented cast of actors, singers, and kathak artists who bring forth the essence of an unforgettable story and bring its beloved characters alive with their stellar performances,   live singing, and choreographed sequences.

• A celebration of cinematic and cultural heritage: 'Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical' celebrates India's rich cultural heritage and cinematic legacy and pays homage to one of the greatest films in Indian cinema while offering a fresh interpretation of its themes for contemporary audiences.

• A stirring emotional saga: A queen torn between her love for her son and loyalty to her husband, an emperor who can sacrifice his own son for the sake of his kingdom, and a prince who tells him, "Mera dil bhi koi aapka Hindustan nahi ... jispar aap hukumat kare!" And Anarkali who chooses her fate when she says, "Kaaton ko murjhane ka khauf nahin hota!" These and a million other moments filled with conflicting emotions will leave you spellbound and deeply moved.

• An immersive experience: Whether you are a fan of the original film or just discovering the buzz around 'Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical', the theatrical extravaganza will immerse you in a world of romance, grandeur, and beauty that you have never seen before.

• English subtitles: For an international audience struggling to grasp nuanced Urdu, all performances of the musical have subtitles in English.

Produced and directed by K. Asif,  'Mughal-e-Azam' (1960) boasted a sterling star cast headlined by Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Ajit, Nigar Sultana and Durga Khote.  Asif spent over ten years battling production delays.  A stickler for authenticity, he ensured that even the pearls that were strewn in the path of Price Salim were real. Craftsmen from all over the country were employed to build sets and embroider costumes. Belgian mirrors were sourced for the Sheesh Mahal sequence and Asif spent more money on a single-song sequence than the average budget of a film. He even paid an unheard amount to classical vocalist Bade Gulam Ali Khan to sing two compositions. On its release, 'Mughal-e-Azam' broke box office records and remained the highest-grossing Indian film for over 15 years. It set a benchmark in all aspects of filmmaking – Screenplay, Production Design, Direction, Music, Dialogue, Performances, Cinematography et al and still exemplifies peerless excellence. In  2004, its colorised version ran for over 25 weeks.

The story

Set in the reign of Emperor Akbar, the play infuses new life into the momentous love story of Prince Salim and Anarkali. The passionate and forbidden love between the heir of the Mughal empire and a court dancer throws the royal household into a tumult and brings Emperor Akbar and Prince Salim face to face in a volcanic battle of wills. The play not only celebrates the artistic legacy of one of the most enduring classics of Indian cinema but also showcases the syncretic musical and dance traditions of India. Director Feroz Abbas Khan also explores class conflicts and gender questions in the play even as he orchestrates war sequences, the regal splendor and cultural richness of the Mughal era,  with note-perfect dialogues and sumptuous dance and music sequences. Watch as a series of dramatic events lead to a tragic climax and a surprise end that leaves an unanswered question in its wake. At the heart of this lavishly mounted, monumental play is a human story brimming with love, jealousy, rebellion,  sacrifice, and an ever-relevant message, “Dilwale ka saath dena, daulat wale ka nahin.” In the end, Salim and Anarkali's passion remains unwavering, making their story one of the most beloved romances in Indian cinema and theatre.