A Widow of No Importance

A delightful script by Shane Sakhrani, a talented cast, and skillful direction by Shaheen Vaaz add up to a hilarious and entertaining evening in this comedy about an Indian widow's struggle to marry off her daughter. Deepa Kirpalani (Lina Patel) is a grieving widow who, following traditional custom, dresses all in white and refuses to leave her condo, spending most of her time praying. Her most fervent prayer is that her daughter Tara (Puja Mohindra) will get married and stop wasting her time partying and pursuing her dream of studying in the United States.

Enter Deepa's friend Lalitha (Anjali Bhimani), who has a notebook full of eligible bachelors, all from good families and looking for a bride. However, Tara is not cooperating, especially when Lalitha delivers a sleazy suitor (Parvesh Cheena) to her doorstep. Ignored in all this is the nerdy neighbor Vinod (Sunil Malhotra), who is recently divorced and suicidal.

Sakhrani's play follows a traditional farce form but is loaded with wonderfully funny details about modern Indian culture and family life. The script's pacing is marvelous, and the playwright's delicate touch with the characters is terrific. The ensemble cast is outstanding, and under the fine direction of Vaaz, the comedy is nonstop. From the start, Patel nails the role of the grieving but clingy mother, and her comedic timing is impeccable, as is true of the entire cast. Bhimani as the best friend gives an uproarious, dead-on performance, and Cheena is outrageously funny in multiple roles. Malhotra is marvelous as the nerd, and Mohindra gives a wonderful portrayal of the strident daughter. Beautiful costumes by Melanie Watnick add to the fun, memorable evening.

Presented by East West Players at the David Henry Hwang Theater, Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. Sept. 14-Oct. 9. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (213) 625-7000. www.eastwestplayers.org.