Clinton dances to Chhaiya chhaiya

It's Bombay Dreams: A New Musical now. And it’s Broadway instead of London . The Indian-theme musical has hit 53rd Street , Broadway theatre, and got high-profile New Yorkers rocking to desi tunes.

On Friday night, dancing to Chhaiya chhaiya and Shakalaka baby were...
Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Bill Clinton and Ismail Merchant.

Even as 2,000 people clapped to a preview of the musical, it was evident Andrew Llyod Webber had lived up to his promise of "remaking the show as something very different for New York ". A colour ad in The New York Times screams: Welcome to Broadway’s most expensive — $14 million — summer musical.

Says Ayesha Dharker, who plays Rani, "We've just had three fabulous shows,Broadway loves the revamped Bombay Dreams. We're working on a bigger canvas than in London.I’m happy I made 2,000 people laugh and react to our jokes," says Ayesha,who features in the US edition of this month's Vogue .

The desi demi-god of 53rd Street is A R Rahman, who has New York rocking to his music. Smiling all the way to the bank is Andrew Lloyd Webber for fulfilling a dream with Shekhar Kapur

And guess who's Broadway's new poster boy? Manu Narayan, cast as Akash. "This is an opportunity for Americans to have a feel of Bollywood’s culture and magnitude. My family stays in Tamil Nadu, they're proud of me," says Manu, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University .

The new lady love in the musical is Priya aka Anisha Nagarajan, plucked from her sophomore year at New York University , "She's a composer and has co-written the children's musical Eleven," says Ayesha.

Here's the big news: From Broadway, Bombay Dreams plans to come to Asia by 2005. Says Safina Uberoi, associate producer, who is going to be in charge of the Asia project: "We're working out details. But we're going to bring Bombay Dreams to India . Right now, it's great to be in New York and learn about the show." The show will go on.