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Bachchan magic on Bollywood's Unforgettable Tour

(From L - R) Bollywood actors Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan pose during a news conference to announce their 'Unforgettable' world tour, in Mumbai July 11, 2008. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan leads a pack of Indian movie stars on a 40-day global concert tour starting next week in a bid to showcase India’s vibrant film industry to newer audiences overseas.

The Unforgettable Tour, which kicks off in the Canadian city of Toronto on July 18, features Bachchan, his son Abhishek and daughter-in law Aishwarya Rai among others, organizers said on Friday.

With each show pegged at over a million dollars and 15 tons of equipment and costumes required by a 150-member crew, organizers said getting the Tour together in eleven cities in America and Europe had been a challenge.

“The show itself will have all the best of Bollywood, with Amitabh Bachchan even doing a small singing sequence, a skill he has tried for some of his films,” Viraf Sarkari of Wizcraft International Entertainment told Reuters.

The three-hour events, choreographed by Shiamak Davar, will see performances by Preity Zinta, Riteish Deshmukh and musicians Vishal-Shekhar.

Some of the celebrities originally signed on for the Unforgettable Tour, including Bipasha Basu and Lara Dutta, have dropped out. But others like Shilpa Shetty, Madhuri Dixit and Akshay Kumar have agreed to be part of the Tour in some cities.

Organizers said all shows had already been sold out although local Tour websites showed tickets, ranging from $50 - $500, were still available.

Even Western audiences had apparently bought tickets to watch what organizers said would be the 65-year-old Bachchan’s first stage performance in two decades.