Theater Notebook: Globe extends ‘Come Fall in Love’ and COVID postpones Bonitafest Melodrama

Irvine Iqbalv, Shoba Narayan and Rupal Pujara in the Old Globe's "Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical."
Irvine Iqbal as Baldev, Shoba Narayan as Simran and Rupal Pujara as Lajjo in the Old Globe’s “Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical.”
(Courtesy of Jim Cox)

Also in this week’s theater report: Desha Crownover has stepped down from San Diego Junior Theatre after 25 years and ‘Hamilton’ single tickets are now on sale


The Old Globe has announced a one-week extension of its world premiere of “Come Fall in Love — The DDLJ Musical.” The Bollywood film-inspired musical will now run through Oct. 23. Tickets went on sale Sunday.

The Globe is co-producing the musical with Yash Raj Films, which is helmed by Indian film producer Aditya Chopra . For the musical, Chopra worked with Broadway bookwriter Nell Benjamin to adapt for the stage his 1995 film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” better known to fans as “DDLJ.” The musical features a score by the Indian songwriting team of Vishal Dadlani and Sheykhar Ravjiani. Chopra’s ultimate goal is produce the musical on Broadway.

“The demand for tickets is huge, and in response, the Globe is thrilled to extend the show’s run,” Barry Edelstein, the Globe’s artistic director, said in a statement.

For tickets, call (619) 234-5623 or visit

A publicity photo for a past Bonitafest Melodrama.
A publicity photo for a past Bonitafest Melodrama.
(Courtesy of Max Branscomb)

Bonitafest Melodrama moves to Oct. 5

For fans eagerly awaiting Bonitafest Melodrama’s return to live performances after a two-year pandemic break, the wait has grown a bit longer.

Show writer-director Max Branscomb was forced to cancel the audience-interactive show’s originally planned performances Sept. 21-24 due to a COVID outbreak among the cast. The new show dates are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 through 8 at the Sweetwater Community Theater, 5305 Sweetwater Road, Bonita.

Bonitafest Melodrama was founded in 1978 and has been performed every year since, with an all-new story each year based on actual San Diego County historical events. During the pandemic, Branscomb kept the show alive as an audio-cast. Tickets are $20. For details, call (619) 850-7126 or visit

Desha Crownover, longtime artistic director of San Diego Junior Theatre, is stepping down.
(San Diego Junior Theatre)

Longtime SDJT leader stepping down

Desha Crownover, San Diego Junior Theatre’s longtime artistic director, has announced plans to leave the organization at the end of this year to pursue other artistic ventures.

She joined the organization 25 years ago as a teaching artist and director. Since 2007, she has served as company artistic director. Jimmy Saba, SDJT’s executive director, praised Crownover’s work in helping young actors find their confidence and inner voice.

“Whether in the casting process, choosing a season, participating in a staff retreat or giving a pre-show speech, Desha has remained a steadfast champion for the underdog, a voice for the meek and a cheerleader for anyone who needs a vote of confidence,” Saba said in statement.

“Her warmth, sincerity and gentle manner have transformed some of the most terrified young souls into confident young actors and crew members. Desha’s investment in the program is substantial and that legacy will remain. Her work over the past two decades will reverberate for decades to come.”

Company officials say Crownover’s accomplishments over the past quarter century have included creating partnerships with Coronado Playhouse and the Halau O Na Ali’i cultural preservation group in Hawaii. She also collaborated with Disney Theatricals to produce pilot productions of new musicals, including “Newsies Jr. and “Moana Jr.” on the SDJT stage. She spearheaded SDJT’s establishment of its core values of empathy, identity, resilience, community and responsibility. And she has been an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.

“It has been an honor to share my passion for theater education with innumerable students, artists and families for over two decades. I am so grateful to Junior Theatre, the staff and to the students and parents who have made this experience so very rich and rewarding,” Crownover said in a statement.

A search for Crownover’s successor is under way.

The national touring company cast of "Hamilton" will perform Nov. 9 through 20 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
(Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

‘Hamilton’ single tickets on sale

Broadway San Diego has opened single ticket sales for the national touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” which will make its second visit to the San Diego Civic Theatre Nov. 9 through 20.

Because “Hamilton” — which won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score — was a hot ticket with season subscribers, who get first dibs, only a limited number of tickets remain. The best ticket availability is later in the run. Ticket prices are dynamic, but last week they started around $79 for balcony seats and up to $229 for orchestra seats. The musical, inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, is known for its rap-infused lyrics, innovative staging and choreography, and multiracial casting.

For tickets, visit

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at