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The New Group Presents 'Rafta, Rafta' Opening Tonight!

 The New Group will present the U.S. premiere of Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta… in a limited Off-Broadway run from April 18 – June 21. Directed by Scott Elliott, the production will have its OfficialOpening on Thursday, May 8 @ 7:00 PM at The New Group @ Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).Recent winner of the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, Rafta, Rafta… is ahumorous tale of close-knit Indian family life in Britain.

After their wedding feast, two nervousnewlyweds 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. Rafta, Rafta… is Ayub Khan-Din's comic look at the generational divide on sex and marriage.Rafta, Rafta… enjoyed its world premiere at London's National Theatre in 2007.

Ayub Khan-Dinwas born in Salford, Manchester. While he was in drama school, he wrote his first play East is East(1997). East is East debuted at The Royal Court Theatre and received its U.S. premiere at The NewGroup in 1999. That play was also adapted as a screenplay by Khan-Din. His other plays include LastDance at Dum Dum (1999) and Notes on Falling Leaves (2004, Royal Court Theatre). As an actor,Khan-Din has been seen on-screen in the films My Beautiful Laundrette and Sammy and Rosie GetLaid, in addition to many TV appearances in the UK.(1 of 2)

Directed by Scott Elliott, this production will feature Sarita Choudhury (Film: Lady in the Water, KamaSutra: A Tale of Love, Mississippi Masala; Off-B'way: Roar at The New Group), Ranjit Chowdhry (Film:The Last Holiday, Bollywood/Hollywood, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mississippi Masala), Sean T.Krishnan (TV: "Street Fighter: The Last Years", "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", "Numb3rs"), AlisonWright, Alok Tewari (Off-B'way: India Awaiting), Reshma Shetty, Manish Dayal, SatyaBhabha, Utkarsh Ambudkar (Off-B'way: History of the Word), Sakina Jaffrey (Film: Before the DevilKnows You're Dead, The Nanny Diaries, The Manchurian Candidate, Chutney Popcorn) and includes SetDesign by Derek McLane (B'way: The Threepenny Opera, The Pajama Game, I Am My Own Wife; Off-B'way: Two Thousand Years, Things We Want, Abigail's Party, Hurlyburly, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and others at The New Group, including East is East), Costume Design by Theresa Squire (B'way: TheLieutenant of Inishmore, High Fidelity; Off-B'way: Sin (A Cardinal Deposed) at The New Group), LightingDesign by Jason Lyons (B'way: The Threepenny Opera, The Pillowman; Off-B'way: Evil Dead TheMusical, Two Thousand Years, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Abigail's Party, Hurlyburly, Roar and othersat The New Group) and Sound Design by Shane Rettig (Off-B'way: The Music Teacher and Jason with aY, both at The New Group, Save the World).

This production will also include original music by DJRekha (2007 debut album Basement Bhangra).Most recently, Scott Elliott directed the US premiere of Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years at The NewGroup, where he is Artistic Director. Last season he helmed the revivals of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodieand Wallace Shawn's The Fever.

In recent seasons, Elliott directed Leigh's Abigail's Party, Shawn's AuntDan & Lemon and David Rabe's Hurlyburly (all The New Group). His Broadway credits include TheThreepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, The Women, Three Sisters and Present Laughter.The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director): The company's 2007-2008 season opened with the premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want directed by EthanHawke and continued with Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years.

Last season featured Jay Presson Allen'sThe Prime of Miss Jean Brodie followed by Wallace Shawn's The Fever, which extended by populardemand, and Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices. In 2004-2005, The New Group (naked) wascreated as second-stage division of the company. The New Group (naked) has presented David Cale's A Likely Story, Barry Levey's Critical Darling, Michael Brandt's A Spalding Gray Matter, Darci Picoult's JaysonWith a Y, Heather Lynn MacDonald's Expats and Robert Tenges' Strangers Knocking. The New Group is arecipient of the 2004 Tony® Award (Best Musical - Avenue Q).Rafta, Rafta… will play at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre / 410 West 42ndStreet, between 9th& 10thAvenue) as follows: Monday @ 8:00 PM, Tuesday @ 7:00 PM, Wednesdaythrough Saturday @ 8:00 PM and Saturday @ 2:00 PM (matinee). Tickets may be arranged throughTicket Central at www.ticketcentral.com or (212) 279-4200, or at the Theatre Row Box Office (12:00–8:00PM daily). Tickets are $56.25. For more information, visit www.thenewgroup.org.***

Photo Credit Monique Carbani

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