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Parminder Nagra

Swirling rhythms of South Asia storm Broadway

NEW YORK - From the slums of Bombay, Akaash, a young and handsome wannabe actor and singer, crashes the nationally televised Miss India pageant and steals the spotlight, catapulting him into fame as a Bollywood film star.

When we next see him, he's wearing a tight, gleaming white outfit, gyrating wildly and singing the infectious "Shakalaka Baby" with an ensemble of brightly clothed dancers and a glamorous diva co-star. Against a whirl of percussion-driven choreography, an explosion of water fountains and soaking-wet saris, Akaash, the "Diamond in the Rough," makes his bid to become a bonafide Bollywood breakout hit.

These scenes, from the first night of...

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