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|May 15, 1999||
East Is East Reaches New York
Arthur J Pais
Three years after it opened to critical and popular acclaim in London, Ayub Khan-Din's immigrant saga has arrived in New York. East Is East, a family portrait set in the England of the 1970s and revolving around six siblings of a Pakistani father and his more liberal English wife, is now previewing at the Manhattan Theater Club. It will open on May 25.
A film version starring Om Puri will premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival this month. It is scheduled to be released in America through Miramax who is also distributing another immigrant saga set in England, My Son the Fanatic, directed by Udayan Prasad and starring Puri, which is slated for a June release.
This is the second play in New York to offer the South Asian immigrant story. The first one, Sakina's Restaurant, written by Aasif Mandvi, and also starring him, played for more than six months, though it was initially scheduled for about a month.
East Is East is expected to play through July.
Ayub Khan-Din, who has acted in a number of significant British films such as Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and My Beautiful Launderette, both directed by Stephen Frears, earned the 1997 Writers Guild Award for Best New Writer. East Is East won the Best West End Play award the same year. He also wrote the script for the movie produced by Assassin Films/BBC.
The American edition is directed by Scott Elliott, the winner of Obies (given to off-Broadway work) for Curtains and Ecstasy.
The New York edition cast includes Purva Bedi, Rahul Khanna, Ajay Mehta, Rishi Mehta, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Amir Sajadi.
The Manhattan Theater Club is located at City Center, 131 West 55th Street. Showtimes are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2.30 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 2.30 pm and 7 pm. Tickets are $ 50. Student tickets ($ 20) are available for all performances, based on availability, one hour before the showtime at the theater; four tickets per a student with valid ID. Call (212) 581-1212.
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