The experience of modern-day India is nearly impossible to describe to a Westerner. It is simultaneously spiritual and maddening. This production of Terrence McNallys 1993 play, A Perfect Ganesh, beautifully and achingly captures Indias contradictions and allure. Its a familiar premise: Two middle-aged women from Connecticut, old friends both devastated by the loss of a child, both seeking some intangible healing, travel to India. The subtle yet powerful sound design transforms the elegantly simple set into many moody locales: a hotel balcony looking over a nighttime sea of people in Mumbai; a train ride through a long, dark of tunnel; and the entrance lawn of the Taj Mahal. Theres the obvious tension between one character who is content to see India from a comfortable seat and a suitable distance, and the other who wants to walk among people and meet them. There is also the subtle tension of a foreign land drawing out the hurt and more primal emotion of the characters reminiscent of a Paul Bowles novel. The performances and production are pitch-perfect and conjure all the continents mysterious magic.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 5. Continues through Dec. 19, 2010