New York Celebrities Nishi & Ranjit star in The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam Off-Broadway
Indian Singer-Actors Nishi & Ranjit to star in The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam Off-Broadway at Medicine Show Theatre
July 27, 2012 – New York City-based singer/songwriters and actors Ranjit Arapurakal and Nishi Rajan will take the stage to star this Sunday, July 29th and Tuesday, July 31st in a staged performance reading of an original new Indian musical play written by Nishi Rajan called The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam.
In an industry where the presence of south Indians is rare, both singer-actors coincidentally originally hail from Kerala, India and have both made a name for themselves in their pursuit of careers in music and entertainment.
Nishi is a pop, dance and rock vocalist who after graduating law school, began recording and producing her original music in 2003 and released her first EP in 2005. She has been featured in international newspapers and magazines from India, to the UK, Canada, Japan and here in the U.S. with features in the New York Law Journal covering her muliple careers as a singer, actress and lawyer. She has performed live on television and radio for over one million listeners world-wide. Nishi recently released her new dance single, Release Me, off her upcoming album, Master of My Fate, available on iTunes and plans to film her first music video this year. Nishi’s love song Story became the #1 most downloaded song by a solo female artist on CdBaby.com after being featured in ‘The Sailor Moon Movie’, an independent fan film based on the original hit Japanese anime and which screened at NYC’s ComicCon last year. Nishi performs regulalry with her band, The Nights, and in the last year alone has performed at NYC’s famous The Bitter End where artists such as Lady Gaga performed, headlined the Kerala Association of New Jersey’s India Republic Night as well as NYC’s Indian Holi Festival in March. She has been working as an actress for the past four years and as starred in several orginal Off-Broadway productions. One of her feature films, Sid’s Paralysis, directed by award-winning British American and Pakistani director Babar Ahmed, recentl screen this past April 2010. Nishi starred as the demon possessed woman, Kareena.
Ranjit Arapurakal is a world-class Jazz and Soul vocalist. Since embarking on his professional career in 2000, Ranjit has performed in a variety of ensembles and settings all around the world, in such cities as London, Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona, Paris, Lauzerte, Prague, Mumbai, Berlin, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City, where he currently resides. He has performed at the Cobden Club and for Balcony TV in London. He recently performed at SOB’s in New York City and has been a veteran performer in NYC’s well-known Rockwood Musical Hall. He released his debut album, Patchwork, in 2009, available on iTunes worldwide, and has been at work on a new album titled ‘Zurich.’ He has made music for The Alvin Ailey School, The Joffrey Ballet, The School of The New York City Ballet and Juilliard and performed with House and Gospel vocalist Lady Alma, The Queen of Philly Soul, and played keyboards regularly in the house band of the legendary Black Lily Show where he also made music with members of The Roots, with Erykah Badu, John Legend, Jay-Z, Ginuwine, Jill Scott, Bahamadia, and many more. In Bombay, Ranjit founded Zenzi’s Open Mind Night, one of the first Open-Mics on the subcontinent and in NYC. Listen for his voice on Karsh Kale’s upcoming album CINEMA, and in the theme song for Bombay Style Salon Mad-O-Wot.
Nishi was born in New Delhi and her family is originally from Mulanthuruthy, Kerala. She came with her family to New York when she was five years old and was raised in upstate New York in Westchester and Putnam counties. She graduated with a Bachelors in Literature & Rhetoric from Binghamton University and is a lawyer in New York City, holding her Juris Doctorate of Law from St. John’s University of Law. She performs with her band, The Nights, throughout New York City and performs in NYC theatre, for film and television. More information at http://nishimusic.com
Ranjit was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, excelled in Western Classical vocal techniques and performed in many productions with The Opera Festival of New Jersey. His stage debut was at the age of 12, as “Amahl” in Westminster Choir College’s production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Ranjit graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Literature with honors from Rutgers University and lives in New York City, where he is pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter. More information at http://www.myspace.com/
The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam consists of 18 actors and include child actors as well. In the role of the Prince’s best friend and his adopted brother, the Lord Anuj, is Roni Mazumdar and as the demon Gods Dharmendra and Durga are veteran Russian stage actor Stass Klassen. singer-songwriter Joyce Laoagan. As King Suresh, the Princess Labam’s father, is Richard Keyser who has perfomed with Medicine Show Theatre for over five years. The cast is rounded out by the musical and acting talents of Christin Eve Cato and Jyoti Singh as the Queens Janya and Kareema, by Anna Bredikhina, Vicki Oceguera, Purvi Parmar, new stage actors Art Shrian, Preet Singh and Anupama Karumanchi. Child actors Mahin Master, Cadence Plenge, Carlos Franquiz and Anastasia Bredikhina add delightful moments to scenes.
The play was inspired by an Indian folktale named How The Rajah’s Son Won the Princess Labam but bares little similarlity to the original. Nishi’s story takes place in the time of the Rajahs and Ranis of India but adds all modern elements and contains material that may be inappropriate for younger audiences with scenes of seduction and violence. Ultimately a tale of love, family, forgiveness and redemption, the story is that of childhood soulmates who find each other again twenty years later. Nishi has written all original music for the the two-night only script-in-hand reading and a full musical play production is planned for Fall 2012 and/or Spring 2013 with proper funding for set design, costumes and music.
Written and directed by Nishi Rajan, it is the singer-actress’ first time producing and single handledly directing the staged reading of an original work. Music will be performed by both Nishi and Ranjit and the musical cast with the assistance of John Plenge, one of Nishi’s principal guitarists in her band, The Nights. John Plenge is an award-winning ASCAP, OBIE and NYSCA award winning composer, sound designer and music producer.
The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam will be performed Sunday, July 29th, 2012 at 5pm at the Medicine Show Theatre located at 549 West 52nd Street, 3rd Fl., in New York City. The play will be performed as part of the theatre’s 2012 Jump Start series which presents fully-staged performance readings of new works. A second night performance is planned for Tuesday, July 31st at 8pm. Tickets are $7 and reservations are requested to be made to the theatre directly by calling (212) 262 – 4216.
More information at http://nishimusic.com/
rajahssonprincesslabam/ and http://www. medicineshowtheatre.org/