Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW A Perfect Ganesh
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2015-07-29

This article shared 2586 times since Wed Jul 29, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Terrence McNally. At: Eclipse Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6875 or www.eclipsetheatre.com; $20-$30. Runs through: Aug. 23

Can audiences empathize with characters who frequently epitomize the stereotype of the "Ugly American" abroad? Or a bigger challenge is whether audiences of today can give a second chance to a distraught character who shockingly uses racist and homophobic slurs when you least expect it.

These are just some of the difficulties posed by gay playwright Terrence McNally in his acclaimed 1993 drama A Perfect Ganesh, currently being revived by Eclipse Theatre Company in an engrossing production directed by Steven Fedoruk. But McNally's drama is very much about exploring the gray areas of his conflicted characters as they reveal their many fears and failings, so it's best not to rely on snap judgments about who is good or bad.

A Perfect Ganesh begins with an introduction by the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh ( Michael Harris ) explaining his joyful role and how he seems to be everywhere. It's also a clever premise that allows Harris and the play's other male actor, Phil Higgins, to assume multiple roles throughout the play.

But the main focus is on Margaret Civil ( Elaine Carlson ) and Katherine "Kitty" Brynne ( Jeannie Affelder ), two wealthy U.S. women friends who take a comprehensive package vacation to India. Kitty is the more freewheeling and initially likable of the two, while Margaret is the far more uptight and judgmental one.

As it blends from scene to scene, A Perfect Ganesh comes across as a fever dream as past and current traumas all come to haunt Kitty and Margaret as they're transfixed or appalled by their Indian surroundings. Early on we find out that Kitty was estranged from her grown son who was killed in a gay-bashing attack, while Margaret admits to a stranger that she has found a lump in her breast.

Alternately annoying and affecting, Carlson and Affelder strongly latch onto their respective roles of Margaret and Kitty. These are two fine parts for actresses of a certain age, and they allow the performers to delve dramatically into so much characterful terrain. Harris and Higgins also give strong performances as they transform chameleon-like into characters from many different classes and nationalities.

Fedoruk and his trusty design team also make all of the play's demands artfully plausible, with particularly fine work by sound designer Cooper Forsman helping to create an Indian soundscape amid the visual exotica set design by Mike Winkelman.

So even if A Perfect Ganesh nearly clocks in at three hours, Eclipse Theatre Company makes it all a journey that you're certainly glad to be along with for the ride. And that even includes the incidences of shock and annoyance that accompanies any kind of vacation abroad. Either way, it's all very memorable and entrancing.


This article shared 2586 times since Wed Jul 29, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Kokandy's 'Sweeney Todd' running Sept. 8-Nov. 6 2022-08-12
- Kokandy Productions will continue its 10th-anniversary season with a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street that will run Sept. 8-Nov. 6. The production will feature music and lyrics by Sondheim, ...


Gay News

COMEDY Talking with 'World' traveler Annick Adelle 2022-08-11
- Bay Area attorney Annick Adelle has decided to face one of her biggest fears: stand-up comedy. After starting in 2016, she is releasing her own album and touring throughout the United States. ...


Gay News

Congo Square Theatre's 'What to Send Up When It Goes Down' at Lookingglass on Sept. 24-Oct. 16 2022-08-10
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Aug. 10, 2022)—Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation's premier African American ensemble theater companies, and Lookingglass Theatre Company announce that single tickets are now on sale for ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-08
- "I wasn't trying to have his career because he sings, he dances. I'm barely a single threat. I'm just an actor."—Tuc Watkins, explaining how he emulated the career trajectory of Kevin Kline— to the best of ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jane Lynch, Dwayne Johnson, 'Star Trek,' Beyonce, Shea Coulee 2022-08-07
- NBC has renewed the Jane Lynch-hosted game show Weakest Link for a third season, Variety noted. Season three will run for 20 episodes. The series is based on a British format distributed by BBC Studios that ...


Gay News

Casting announced for queer-centered play 'St. Sebastian' 2022-08-05
- Refracted Theatre Company announced casting for its world premiere of Andrew Kramer's dark comedy St. Sebastian, directed by Artistic Director Graham Miller. The play features Nolan Robinson, Mack Spotts and ...


Gay News

Angelica Ross to be first trans lead in Broadway's 'Chicago' 2022-08-04
- Trans actors have made all sorts of impressions on Broadway, but former Chicagoan Angelica Ross has set a precedent. Next month, the leading role of fame-hungry murderess Roxie Hart will be played by Angelica Ross. Ross ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Chicago Latino Theater Alliance Executive Director Myrna Salazar dies at 75 2022-08-04
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced that co-founder and Executive Director Myrna Salazar passed away Aug. 3—two weeks after celebrating her 75th birthday. According to a press release, "Salazar ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15 2022-08-02
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...


Gay News

Oak Park Festival Theatre's 'The Winter's Tale' running thru Aug. 20 2022-08-02
- Oak Park Festival Theatre's The Winter's Tale will run at Austin Gardens (167 Forest Ave., Oak Park) through Sunday, Aug. 20. The Winter's Tale marks Oak Park Festival Theatre's return to the stage after a devastating ...


Gay News

Story Jam and Cerqua Rivera collaboration on July 27 at Artifact Events 2022-07-25
- Story Jam's next storytelling show—in a series of monthly shows at Artifact Events —will take place Wed., July 27, at 7:30 p.m. at 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. "Living Truth: True Stories" is a storytelling collaboration with ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, 'Game of Thrones' prequel, Dexter Mayfield, Shania Twain 2022-07-24
- The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policy—in which audiences are encouraged but not ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Mamalogues' in Evanston on July 23-Aug. 7 2022-07-19
- The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will present Lisa B. Thompson's The Mamalogues—an evening of monologues about the experience of parenting while Black, unmarried and middle-class in the age of anxiety—from July 23 to Aug. 7 at the Noyes ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Devil Wears Prada' cast members dish about musical's Chicago debut 2022-07-18
- "All right, everyone! Gird your loins" as a stage musical version of The Devil Wears Prada is set for a world premiere in the Windy City this July as part of the lineup for Broadway in Chicago. Tony Award winner Beth ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Warhol/Basquiat, 'Raven's Home,' Jonathan Bailey, Broadway, Ricky Martin 2022-07-17
Video below - The Collaboration—Anthony McCarten's hit London play about artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat—will make its U.S. premiere on Broadway this fall, with Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope as the two ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.