Frantic efforts were made to keep Vivek Oberoi as a part of Kingdom Of Dreams the 200-crore rupee staged version of a Bollywood extravaganza. But after the release if Prince and the surprisingly good opening it got, Vivek is in no mood to do a play.
After repeated attempts by Wizcraft the company producing the Bollywood-on-stage spectacle at the sprawling Gurgaon venue in the suburbs of New Delhi, Vivek who said a firm no, has finally been replaced by TV star and trained dancer Hussain Kuwajerwalla.
Hussain was in the limelight after winning the dance reality-show Nach Baliye 2. When Vivek refused to budge a last-minute replacement was desperately sought. Since none of the A-listers from Bollywood were available it was felt Hussain with his proven skills at Bollywood dancing was the perfect candidate to replace Vivek.
Apparently, Javed Akhtar who has written Kingdom of Dreams series recommended Hussain.
Strangely, Vivek was all-excited about returning to his roots in theatre with Kingdom of Dreams. Even two days after the encouraging opening of Prince he said he had worked out the dates for the play which were clashing with his next film to be shot in London.
But now the dates are suddenly impossible to work out.
Strange, considering tickets had already been sold out for the shows featuring Vivek Oberoi, Gauhar Khan and Isha Shravani.
Protests Oberoi, “The tickets were not sold on my name. They were sold for the play. I did try to work out the dates for Kingdom of Dreams. But finally I had to opt out of the play. The film is at this juncture very crucial. I need to focus on it.”
When asked if this incident has left a bitter taste in the play’s producers’ mouths, Vivek says it’s all hunky-dory. “In fact Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft and I are in touch constantly. We’re still trying to work things out in a way so I can join the play later on. After all this Kingdom of Dreams is not a seasonal play. It is a round-the-year event.”
However the chances of Vivek coming back to Kingdom of Dreams seem remote, although Sabbas Joseph says Vivek is committed to do a project with Wizcraft later.
Sabbas defends Vivek, “Agreed Vivek is under contract to do Kingdom of Dreams. But our project got delayed. We were supposed to go on stage in May. But we had to postpone to June. It isn’t fair to him and hence the decision is mutual.”
Interestingly only a week back Sabbas Joseph was sure that Vivek was doing Kingdom of Dreams.
Hussain Kuwajerwalla Reacts to the Big Opportunity
“I don’t know whether I should talk about it. Not even my closest friends know. This is an opportunity I’ve waited for. I can’t believe it’s come my way. I don’t know the back projection (about Vivek Oberoi’s departure from the project is). And I don’t care. All I know is, it’s a windfall for me. And I’m going to make the best of it. I love dancing specially Bollywood dancing. But this isn’t just about dancing. It is the all-encompassing Bollywood play and I play the typical Bollywood hero doing everything that Bollywood heroes do. I’ve been rehearsing like crazy. I’m nervous and excited. It’s hard to explain what Kingdom of Dreams does. It’s something one has to experience. When I was told about it I couldn’t understand the scale of it. But now when I saw the auditorium and the bigness of it I was totally zapped.”
– Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire