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July 5, 1999
East Is East To Close Soon
Arthur J Pais in New York
The critically acclaimed play East Is East will close on July 11. A poignant and often hilarious story of an immigrant family in England, the play has received outstanding reviews from a slew of newspapers including The New York Times and Newsday and many radio stations.
A number of Indian actors including Rahul Khanna and Purva Bedi are in the cast of the play, an autobiographical work by Ayub Khan-Din.
"We have been receiving standing ovations show after show," says Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays an Indian doctor in the play; the other characters are Pakistani and British. "But these are from the subscribers of Manhattan Theater Club which has produced the show."
The advance booking for the show, which has been running for about six weeks, has been discouraging.
"This is the case of a great show not finding the audiences," bemoans Ajay Mehta, who plays a boorish Pakistani.
"Had the Indian community come forward to back up the play, we could have stayed on for several more weeks," he adds.
A movie inspired by the play, and starring Om Puri as the stubborn and chauvinistic Pakistani father who keeps worrying about the impending war between Pakistan and India while being oblivious to the war in his own family, will be released across America in about two weeks by Miramax Films.
Miramax has released My Son the Fanatic which also stars Om Puri. It is pushing hard to generate a lot of publicity for Puri.
"They know he is an Oscar-worthy actor," says an insider. "They will re-release My Son the Fanatic as well as East Is East in late December, and send hundreds of video tapes to Oscar voters," says an insider. "He is their best for an Oscar nomination, at least until now."
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