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November 15, 2010

TEMPEST ON SLIPPERY WATERS - PERFECT GANESH 'A SLOW JOURNEY'

LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT

Theatre - Movies - Cabaret - About Town

STORMY WEATHER AT CUTTING BALL THEATRE

Innovation is fun for some plays -- however it doesn't always work. There is nothing enchanting about this presentation at the Cutting Ball Theatre. Oh, the actors are great -- they did what they could (following the Directors demands). I was very disappointed. The language of Shakespeare got lost among all the histrionics.

The set is interesting, with a modern desk and a modern chaise lounge. On the desk is the Boat that they are supposed to be riding on. It is a small model that the actor holds in his hands and rocks it back and forth -- as if it were actually on the open sea. I wanted to squash the boat. It was very annoying and not at all humorous. 

This play has Shakespeare's grand verbiage -- but it doesn't resonate on this stage. There they are,  in what looks to be a big swimming pool-- that I assume is supposed to be the Ocean. There was no water in the Pool -- but there were visions of it at times on the back of the stage. I must say that the sets were the best thing about this pretense. The lust was a bust. 

The Tempest may have been fun in Shakespeare's time -- but his words - especially about Caliban (the native savage)  are cruel. That was then -- and this is now. If you stayed through the entire evening (a boring three hours) - then you now know what "Water Boarding" is all about. 

Where was the magical moments? They must  have been on another stage, somewhere else. I saw no magic. Just a bunch of over-wrought shouting. I would have loved to give this show a 'rave' review -- the Cutting Ball Theater has always brought great and wonderful stories along the years, but every theater group can't win all the time. This one unfortunately,  is one of those times. 

RATING: TWO GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!! -trademarked-

WHERE? NEW CONSERVATORY THEATER 

NOT PERFECT GANESH 

I Can't believe that I had to suffer two nights in a row with two overwrought plays. First there was The Tempest. Then the next evening - it was the mind numbing presentation of "A Perfect Ganesh''. Oh sure, the play has a few terrific moments. There was some great interaction between the two women - one catty and the other comforting. Both women friends probably should never travel together on trip to India or anywhere. Maybe a short shopping trip to Walmart might have been smarter. 

Looking around, I could see the audience impatience. After all the evening was at least three hours long. Who wouldn't be bitchy. Actually bitchy is not strong enough. If I had an axe in my media bag -- I would have chopped the stage into pieces. That is how impatient I became. It was 'The Tempest' all over again I thought. Part of the problem with this play and "The Tempest" is that they are are both trying to put on an extravaganza with only a few actors playing many roles. Not only is it confusing to the audience -- (and it might save money) it is boring as S**t! 

Lastly - there is no drama. The pauses between what is being said on the stage are 'meneopausal'. I am capable of analyzing things myself, when there are things to analyze. And what I saw -- what the absence of real drama. The McNalley play may have been better with a larger cast.

RATING: TWO GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!! - trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook section and Produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
(ABOVE REVIEWS WILL APPEAR ON WWW.BEYONDCHRON.ORG. )




















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