Ilaiyaraaja, the prolific composer and lyricist in the Indian film industry, has written 12 original songs for the project. Biyyala (Willing to Sacrifice) is directing the feature, which is about the pressure of the unimaginative education system on children, which aims only to make them doctors or engineers, leaving no time for art or sport.
Choreographer Adam Murray, who has credits include The King’s Man, Cruella and Rocketman, is aboard for the shoot. Cinematographer Kiran Deohans is also attached.
The cast is comprised of: Sharman Joshi, Shriya Saran, Suhasini Mulay, Benjamin Gilani, Prakash Raj, Telugu comedian Brahmanandam, Vinay Varma, Gracy Goswamy and Ozu Barua.
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The mahurat for the musical – i.e. the inauguration ceremony before shooting begins – is scheduled for October 15.
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Actor Sharman Joshi says, “I’m absolutely excited to be part of Mr. Papa Rao’s Music School. It’s my first bi-lingual. I’m looking forward to be working with Mr. Ilaiyaraaja for the first time. I’m absolutely honoured excited and flattered to be part of this project. I’m looking forward to working with Shriya who I know on a personal level. I’m looking forward to this wonderful journey. It’s a one-of-a-kind musical with a lot of emotions.”
Actor Shriya Saran says, “It’s a dream come true. Ilaiyaraaja has been an inspiration for all of us. To be working from such a big choreographer from London is again a dream come true. Every time I go to London, the first thing I do is I go to all the musicals. I love dance, stage and performing. My prayers have been answered. I’m a Kathak dancer and it will be exciting to learn a new dance form. I’m really looking forward to it. It feels like I’m living my dream. I’m very blessed and grateful.”
Broadway choreographer Adam Murray says, “I’m privileged and honoured to be invited by Papa Rao to tell this magical story with my choreography. It has been my lifelong dream to create one in India. I’m excited to fuse my work and style with the iconic world of the Bollywood movie musical. I hope to create something everyone can be very proud of.”
Papa Rao Biyyala says, “I am happy to have maestro Ilaiyaraaja, Broadway Choreographer Adam Murray and the brilliant cinematographer Kiran Deohans onboard. Their body of work has been nothing short of inspiring and iconic. I’m thrilled to collaborate with them. This musical is a promise of a compelling narrative, relatable characters and memorable songs.”