London's Rafta, Rafta... Opens Off-Broadway at New Group

News   London's Rafta, Rafta... Opens Off-Broadway at New Group Sarita Choudhury stars in the Olivier Award-winning Ayub Khan-Din work Rafta, Rafta..., which officially makes its American premiere May 8.
Rafta, Rafta... stars Reshma Shetty and Manish Dayal
Rafta, Rafta... stars Reshma Shetty and Manish Dayal Photo by Monique Carboni

The New Group artistic director Scott Elliott (Two Thousand Years) stages the work for his company at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre. The show began previews April 18 for a run slated through June 21. Penned by the playwright of East is East, Rafta, Rafta... centers on "close-knit Indian family life in Britain," according to a show synopsis. "After their wedding feast, two nervous newlyweds are ready for some privacy, but the groom's father doesn't want the party to end and his brother won't let them be. Before long, the groom and his new bride begin to realize that having a honeymoon in his parents' house is not the ideal recipe for romance."

Choudhury ("Lady in the Water," "Kama Sutra," Roar) is joined onstage by Ranjit Chowdhry ("The Last Holiday"), Sean T. Krishnan, Alison Wright, Alok Tewari (India Awaiting), Reshma Shetty, Manish Dayal, Satya Bhabha, Utkarsh Ambudkar (History of the Word) and Sakina Jaffrey ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

The design team includes Derek McLane (set), Theresa Squire (costumes), Jason Lyons (lighting) and Shane Rettig (sound). The production will also include original music by DJ Rekha.

Rafta, Rafta..., which is based on Bill Naughton's All in Good Time, played at London's National Theatre in 2007 — where it earned the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Nicholas Hytner directed Bollywood actor Harish Patel in his London stage debut opposite Meera Syal.

The New Group previously presented Khan-Din's East Is East in 1999. Other works include Last Dance at Dum Dum and Notes on Falling Leaves.

Rafta, Rafta… replaced the previously announced Mark Brokaw-directed production of Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth that now will play in the fall.

For more information visit thenewgroup.org.

Sarita Choudhury, Manish Dayal, Reshma Shetty and Alok Tewari in <i>Rafta, Rafta...</i>
Sarita Choudhury, Manish Dayal, Reshma Shetty and Alok Tewari in Rafta, Rafta... Photo by Monique Carboni
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