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May 22, 1999
Sakina's Restaurant honored
Arthur J Pais in New York
Sakina's Restaurant, the first play staged in New York about the experiences of an Indian immigrant family, won two special citations this week from the Obie award committee. Aasif Mandvi, who wrote the one-man play and acted in it, and Kim Hughes, who directed it were cited for their excellence.
The awards -- in their 44th year -- are sponsored by Village Voice. The Broadway shows, staged in New York theaters with more than 500 seats, are eligible for Tonys while the off-Broadway shows are recognized by Obies.
Mandvi's play ran in a 74-seat theatre for more than six months; originally it was scheduled to run for about eight weeks. The first reaction to the play from the reviewers for Daily Variety and a handful of newspapers were mixed, but The New York Times and several other mainstream publications hailed it for its humanity, acute insights and Mandvi's excellent performance.
The play is being published as a book by a division of Random House. Since his New York triumph, Mandvi has taken the play to a number of cities in America and Canada. He has also performed it several times to raise money for Indian charities.
There are possibilities that it could be made into a film. But then it would not be a one-man show.
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