Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

A Perfect Ganesh  

The dynamic cast can't save this poorly staged three-hour play

Wednesday, Mar 15 2006
Comments
A graceful god, with rotund belly and bejeweled elephant headdress, dances onstage as Indian music carries subtle incense on the air. This plump god is Ganesh, "queller of obstacles," inviting us to follow two women to Bombay. With a clap of Ganesh's hands, we're at the airport, where we meet the finicky Margaret and the spontaneous Katharine, a pair of well-to-do old friends about to discover they hardly know each other. Their turbulent journey reveals that Katharine is recovering from a loss (aided by self-help tapes), and is hoping India will heal her pain; Margaret is escaping heartbreak of her own. As the pair experience the heat and crowds, meet fellow travelers, and marvel at the country's beauty -- accompanied by the wise deity -- they reveal themselves for the first time. Free Range Theatre Company presents a cast with dynamic chemistry. David Klatt endears as Ganesh, despite his cumbersome, albeit lovely, costume. Elizabeth Benedict, as Katharine, provides an energy that improves the sluggish pacing of this tender play. Poor staging does the production a disservice, particularly when Dana Kelly (as a character called Man) is stuck in the aisle maneuvering puppets, and again when he's limited to displaying only the partial profile of a detailed mask. Ganesh develops drama slowly and bypasses several comedic opportunities, which were sorely missed in this three-hour version.

About The Author

Emily Forbes

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"