EXCLUSIVE: American Idol top contestant Bilaal Avaz has officially signed on to join Bhangin’ It. The young artist was shown in Hollywood Week on ABC’s American Idol and sang “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato. Afterwards, the judges praised his vocals and had him advanced further into the competition. Legendary recording artist Lionel Richie referred to Bilaal as a “Humble Giant”.
Avaz has been working in the Television and Film industry since he was sixteen, having worked with actors like Sara Bareilles, Renée Goldsberry, Mariska Hargitay and Tina Fey. Bilaal’s television credits include but are not limited to Law and Order: SVU, NBC’s Girls5Eva, multiple Super Bowl commercials, and being a top contestant on ABC’s American Idol. Bilaal is presently on a full academic scholarship at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts as part of the Dean’s Scholar program.
His new musical Bhangin’ It is set in the high stakes world of intercollegiate competitive Bhangra—throwing the Punjabi tradition into a high-energy dance-off. Brash, intoxicating and joyous, Bhangin’ It is a musical about dancing to your own beat and a celebration of what America looks like today.The show is a collaboration between three recent Kleban Prize winners: composer Sam Willmott and writers Mike Lew (Teenage Dick) and Rehana Lew Mirza (Hatefuck).
The musical will be directed by Stafford Arima (Broadway’s Allegiance), with choreography by Rujuta Vaidya (Slumdog Millionaire Academy Awards performance) and musical staging by Lisa Shriver (Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar), along with Bhangra specialist Anushka Pushpala (Artistic Director of Bhangra Empire).
The cast features Ari Afsar as “Mary,” Aryaan Arora as “Mohan,” Bilaal Avaz as “Amit,” Jesse Bhamrah as “Gobind,” Brandon Contreras as “Billy,” Laura Dadap as “Constance,” Henry Walter Greenberg as “Noah,” Jason Heil as “Wallace,” Terrance Johnson as “Jake,” Jaya Joshi as “Sunita,” Madison McBride as “Lily,” Anu Mysore as “Shetal,” Amey Natu as “Big Bob,” Alka Nayyar as “Rekha,” Zain Patel as “Varun,” Devi Peot as “New Mary,” Vinithra Raj as “Preeti,” Ramita Ravi as “Shilpa,” along with Nikki Mirza, Gerry Tonella and Levin Valayil as swings.
The full creative team includes former Playhouse Artist-in-Residence and Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical, The Wiz and others), Scenic Designer; Tony Award winner Linda Cho (Wild Goose Dreams, The Orphan of Zhao), Costume Designer; Amith Chandrashaker, Lighting Designer; Jonathan Deans, Sound Designer; David Bengali, Projection Designer; Natasha Sinha, Dramaturg; Calleri/Jensen/Davis and Jacole Kitchen, Casting; Julianne Menassian, Stage Manager.
Bilaal Avaz is signed with Take 3 Talent. Any autograph requests or press inquiries must be sent directly to his representation.