New Yorkers are forever hungry for Indian food, but are they hungry for Indian food for thought? It seems so. Sakina's Restaurant, the new solo piece by Aasif Mandvi playing at Off-Broadway's American Place Theatre, has been extended until Aug. 2, two weeks past the previous extension of July 19. The comedy looks at the zeitgeist and characters of a family-owned Indian restaurant -- a rare theatrical look at that community. Among the characters created and played by Mandvi: Sakina, Samir, Ali, Farrida, Azgi and Hakim. "The show is picking up a following in the East Indian community," said spokesperson Susan Chicoine, "because he's done it at benefits and gatherings. And he's often given comments like, 'The way you pick up your sash and wipe your forehead remind me of how my mother did that all the time.' The cultural references are so specific, and it's quite evocative."
Designing Restaurant are Tom Greenfield (set), Ryan McMahon (lights) and David E. Wright (sound).
Mandvi's acting credits include subUrbia and the surly delivery man in Death Defying Acts. He studied performance with Wynn Handman, artistic director of the American Place Theatre, which led to Sakina's slot as the last show of the 1997-98 season. Kim Hughes, who directs the piece, also helped develop it.
For tickets ($30) and information on Sakina's Restaurant, opening June 24 at the American Place Theatre, 111 West 46th St., call (212) 239-6200.
-- By David Lefkowitz