- The first Broadway play with a majority South Asian cast/creative team received awards for Best Scenic Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Lighting Design for a play.
Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel “Life Of Pi” has won three Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Lighting Design for a play. The first Broadway play with a majority South Asian cast/creative team also received nominations for Best Direction and Best Costume Design.
An epic tale of adventure, “Life Of Pi” tells the story of 16-year-old Pi, who survives a shipwreck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with four companions— a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal tiger. Told through incomparable puppetry and exquisite stagecraft, t has been described as “a story of hope, faith, and perseverance” which “speaks to every generation.”
Directed by Max Webster, “Life Of Pi” is currently playing at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre with three Olivier Award-winning performers making their Broadway debuts. Recreating their critically acclaimed performances for Broadway are “Best Actor” winner Hiran Abeysekera in the role of “Pi” and “Best Supporting Actor” winners Fred Davis and Scarlet Wilderink have joined the “Richard Parker” puppeteering team.
The Broadway production also features Brian Thomas Abraham as the Cook/Voice of “Richard Parker,” Rajesh Bose as the Father, Avery Glymph as Father Martin/Russian Sailor/Admiral Jackson, Mahira Kakkar as Nurse/Amma/Orange Juice, Kirstin Louie as Lulu Chen, Salma Qarnain as Mrs. Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Sathya Sridharan as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji, Daisuke Tsuji as Mr. Okamoto/Captain, Sonya Venugopal as Rani, with Nikki Calonge, Fred Davis, Rowan Ian Seamus Magee, Jonathan David Martin, Betsy Rosen, Celia Mei Rubin, Scarlet Wilderink and Andrew Wilson as Royal Bengal tiger “Richard Parker.” Mahnaz Damania, Jon Hoche, Usman Ali Mughal, Uma Paranjpe and David Shih round out the 24-member cast with Adi Dixit as the “Pi” alternate.
The play has received praise from critics and fans. The New York Times called it “a wonder, delightful and beautiful.” The publication said the play “conjures a delirious, dynamic world that is a tribute to human ingenuity and animal grace, while acknowledging what is human within the animal and animal within the human.” Entertainment Weekly described it as “glorious,” while The Wall Street Journal said it was “spectacular and spellbinding.”