GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH: 93% – SWEET

Brian Tilley in “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich” at the Freud Playhouse. Credit: Jeff Busby, CAP UCLA.

SWEET
These are mighty questions that “Ganesh,” a small but rippling production, leaves you pondering. It’s a piece in which a hug, proffered by the wispy Laherty to a fellow performer after a brutal scene, turns into an eloquent statement about what it means to be a human being.
Charles McNulty – LA Times

SWEET
The audience is invited in to see how artistry is made, but the effect awes us anyway.
Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA

BITTERSWEET
The play may be scrupulous about not resolving its many intellectual tensions, but for one so obsessively concerned with problems of representation, it can be discouragingly blithe about its own representational quandaries: calling the absent audience in the rehearsal to task for being drawn to attending a “freak show” tends to beggar the question of how this production itself straddles confronting and avoiding the distinctly different speech, diction and behaviorism of its cast, keeping its provocations determinedly within the boundaries of respectful correctness.
Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

SWEET
Back to Back Theater, an Australian company comprising actors with a disability, recently brought its provocative and startling production of Ganesh Versus the Third Reichto UCLA’s Freud Playhouse for a brief run.
Willard Manus – Total Theater

SWEET
Ganesh versus the Third Reich would be brilliant without this epic complication. The simple plot is Ganesh, the Hindu god with an elephant’s head who’s the ‘Remover of Obstacles’, has been sent to reclaim the swastika from Hitler. Interspersed with that plot line is the familiar meta-theatrical trope of actors breaking character to suddenly be actors rehearsing the play we’re seeing. But rather than typical ‘actor talk’ the challenges are more fundamental.
Anthony Byrnes – KCRW

SWEET
The production never let you forget that it was being performed by mortals, not gods — some overweight, some with speech impediments, some who moved awkwardly. This was integrally tied to its larger purpose, an examination of mythology and how that relates to what it means to be human.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

SWEET
The production’s dual layers overlap in the theme of control. I wish the the play-within-the-play received greater focus, but I found all of it compelling. The ultimate victors of Ganesh vs the Third Reich is the out-and-out, one-of-a-kind Back to Back Theatre and the audience members lucky enough to witness their work.
Jon Magaril – CurtainUp

GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH
Freud Playhouse
UCLA, Westwood
8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Ends Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tickets: $40-$60; (310) 825-2101
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

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