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Best Samosa-Theater Combo 

A Brimful of Asha

Staff Pick

Last year’s Spoleto festival was fairly forgettable, with one glaring exception: Ravi Jain’s autobiographical play A Brimful of Asha, which he performed with his mother, Asha Jain, who is not an actor and has never been involved with theater. A Brimful of Asha gives a true account of Ravi’s subjection (comical, loving subjection, but still) to an arranged-marriage scheme concocted by his parents, Indian immigrants who live in Canada. The entire show was performed at a kitchen table, with Ravi and Asha conversing across it and speaking to the audience. It made for a delightfully homey, intimate evening. The kicker, though, was how they began: upon entering the theater, every audience member was invited up on stage to meet Ravi and Asha and enjoy a samosa, which the duo always order from an Indian restaurant in whichever town they’re performing in. It was pure hospitality and warmth, and made for one of the most memorable theater experiences we’ve had to date.

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