Raoul Bhaneja is producing and starring in the upcoming production of “Disgraced.”
The Pulitzer Prize winning play returns to the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto on November 11 after a critically acclaimed run in 2016.
The play deals with faith, politics and the notion of “tolerance.”
Bhaneja, an ambitious soul with a “can-do” attitude, is candid about how he overcame the struggles he encountered while trying to land leading roles with established companies by producing his own work. But even then he faced blowback from critics and directors, despite the movement towards “colourblind casting.”
Those struggles were, in part, the impetus behind Bhaneja’s drive to produce and appear in a solo version of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” His production played in New York and London to critical acclaim. It is also the subject of a feature length documentary.
His work exploring “Hamlet” was the perfect preparation to play Amir the central character in “Disgraced” which Bhaneja describes as “‘Hamlet’ for a 40 year old, Indo-American actor.”
The 2016 Toronto production played to packed houses and critical acclaim with Glenn Sumi’s review in Now picking up on the the lack of great roles for actors of colour: “As for Bhaneja, in a year in which Hollywood’s lack of diversity made headlines, here’s an example of a great stage role for a South Asian actor. He nails the part, modulating his performance with grace and soul and charm…”
In The Globe and Mail Martin Morrow wrote the following about Bhaneja’s performance: “As Amir, he gives a fearless performance, at first hard-nosed and cynical, later belligerent and despicable. But in the end his character’s agonizing pain seeps through.”
Bhaneja’s admits that his interest in acting was inspired by his parents whose first “serious overnight date” was a trip to the Stratford Festival. It was 1969 and Bhaneja’s father was studying journalism at Carleton University, working on a project with William Hutt.
“Disgraced,” which set a box office record for drama in the Panasonic Theatre, returns for 13 performances only!
Nov. 11 – 26
Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., Toronto
Limited time offer – Get a $92 ticket for $35 with the promo code Raoul35
Click the poster below or use the promo code at: https://www.mirvish.com/shows/disgraced