Expo 2020 debuts new show 'Why? The Musical': all you need to know

The 45-minute show is directed by Bafta-winner Shekhar Kapur, with music by Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman

AR Rahman and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur have collaborated to create Expo 2020 Dubai's new show 'Why? The Musical'. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai
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Starting on Thursday, Expo 2020 Dubai's Al Wasl Plaza will feature a new show directed by Bafta-winning Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur with music by Oscar-winner AR Rahman.

Called Why? The Musical, the 45-minute show stars Australian theatre actress Shubshri Kandiah and Indian actor and comedian Jaaved Jaaferi as the leads and will feature more than 100 performers as well as stunning visuals projected on Al Wasl Dome, the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen.

“I feel blessed and honoured to be creating a musical spectacle in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and AR Rahman. Why? The Musical celebrates diversity and inclusivity, as it takes audiences on a spectacular journey," said Kapur, who won a Bafta award for his 1998 film Elizabeth, when announcing the show in December.

What's the musical about?

Why? The Musical will tell the story of a young girl who sets off on a journey of discovery accompanied by a wise old man. Along the way, the pair will teach audiences about empathy towards the planet and inspire them to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world. It will "aim to stir visitors’ emotions and draw on a childhood thirst for knowledge", organisers said.

The show will feature eight original compositions by Rahman, who's been wowing Expo 2020 visitors with his all-woman Firdaus Orchestra. Lyrics to the songs have been written by Sohaila Kapur, Dana Dajani and Shivang. Oscar-winning audio mixer Resul Pookutty has designed the sound for the show.

Director Kapur had earlier described the show as "an anthem to our planet, to our Mother Earth".

“We invite you to join us in a journey of rediscovering your childhood and once again ask 'Why?'. Come dance and sing from the heart of Expo to yours," he said.

When is the show on?

Following its debut on Thursday, the musical will run four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, until February 27. Shows begin at 8pm at Al Wasl Plaza.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 11:14 AM