A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA) welcomed international theater back to the program in September with a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. This month brings two more plays: Cheek by Jowl’s production of John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Back to Back Theatre’s original work Ganesh Versus the Third Reich. CAP UCLA is offering Culture Spot LA readers two pairs of free tickets to both shows. Send an email to editor@culturespotla.com with your preference for date and show time for a chance to win.

Cheek by Jowl presents John Ford’s Tis Pity She’s a Whore Jan. 9-12. Formed in 1981 by joint artistic directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, London’s internationally acclaimed theater troupe Cheek by Jowl has performed in 301 cities in more than 40 countries. Cheek by Jowl’s mission is to re-examine classical texts and focus on the actor’s art. Now, the company turns that focus to Jacobean-era dramatist John Ford’s tragedy of intrigue, incest and political machination with ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Despite its shocking subject matter, the play is considered an English classic. In this violent and bloody drama, we watch a brother and sister’s passionate descent into hell. Incest, morality, religion and corruption all intertwine to make this play as provocative and controversial today as it was 400 years ago. Le Figaro calls it “a masterpiece. An absolute must-see.”

Wed., Jan. 9, 8 p.m.

Thu., Jan. 10, 8 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 11, 8 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 12, 2 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 12, 8 p.m.

Back to Back Theatre comes to Los Angeles for the first time Jan. 24-27 with their much-lauded original work Ganesh Versus the Third Reich, which London’s The Guardian recently ranked No. 7 on its top 10 theater productions of 2012. One of Australia’s leading and respected contemporary theater companies, Back to Back Theatre creates new forms of modern theater imagined from the minds and experiences of a professional ensemble of actors with a disability, giving voice to the social and political issues that speak to all people. Their acclaimed and highly original production Ganesh Versus the Third Reich is a self-reflective revelation on the creation of theater, through a central hero’s adventure of epic proportions. The story begins with an actor portraying Ganesh, who embarks upon a mission through Nazi Germany to reclaim the ancient Hindu symbol being exploited as the swastika, to restore it to its proper context.

Thu., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 25, 8 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 27, 2 p.m.

Both shows will be at the Ralph Freud Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles 90024. Visit https://cap.ucla.edu.