Come Fall In Love - The DDLJ Musical
Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein writes that Come Fall in Love, the theater’s ginormous new musical based on the hit Indian film DDLJ (and directed by the film’s writer/director Aditya Chopra), “delivers a gentle and sweet story of star-crossed love, family, and tradition. And music. And dance.” That mention of “star-crossed love” brings Romeo & Juliet to mind, and what do you know, the play gets mentioned early on, as part of our Harvard-educated heroine Simran’s sung thesis rejecting “storybook love” in favor of something more active and heroic. But while there is a star set against the union of the mutually stunning Simran and Rog, it’s not the enmity of two families. Quite the opposite: it turns out that Simran’s immigrant father left his heart back in India, as well as a promise to his dear friend that their children would one day marry.
Oddly, it seems that his plan to raise a perfect Indian bride involves getting her a top-flight American education and sending her on a cultural tour of Europe before taking her back to the old country. And it’s there she gets to know Rog, the rich kid with a heart of gold to match. But don’t fret: the culture clash and generation gap are just a scaffold for goings-on that really are gentle and sweet. You’re here for the comedy and costumes, the fun and froth, the music and dance. The first act delivers in fine fashion, especially the title number, a brilliantly backdropped siren song from hedonist Rog as he squires the museum-minded Simran around the Continent. (A close second is “Like You That Way,” in which the pair adorably start to realize what the audience has known all along.) What the second act’s songs lose in craft and catchiness they sometimes make up for in humor, notably “Hot and Independent and Hot,” the intended groom’s fantasy of what his American bride will be like. And while the inevitable turn toward dramatic tension and resolution may not make you weep, the preceding proceedings will almost surely make you smile.