Photo Flash: Original Broadway Cast of GOD OF CARNAGE Reunites for LA Production
Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden, the original Tony Award-nominated Broadway cast of the scathingly funny, Tony Award-winning Best Play "God of Carnage," will reunite in Los Angeles for six weeks only to bring this comedy of manners without the manners to the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre, April 5 through May 15, 2011. Opening night is April 13. **
Matthew Warchus, winner of the Tony Award for his direction of "God of Carnage," returns to lead the cast of four - all of whom were nominated for Tony Awards for their performances (Marcia Gay Harden took home the award).
"When I saw the original production on Broadway I knew that I wanted to bring the play to L.A. but I never dreamed that we would get this cast," said CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. "Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden - four terrific actors in four great roles squaring off at the Ahmanson. This isn't just the theatrical event of the season, it's the battle of the century and it's only happening here in Los Angeles."
After seeing this cast on Broadway, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote "Never underestimate the pleasure of watching really good actors behaving terribly . . . highly skilled stage performers take on roles that allow them to rip the stuffing out of one another, tear up the scenery, stomp on their own vanity and have the time of their lives."
Hailed by Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post as ". . . gleefully nasty fun," "God of Carnage" is set in a gentrified section of Brooklyn where two married couples meet to sort out a playground fight between their sons. At first, niceties are observed but as the evening progresses and the rum flows, the gloves come off and the night becomes a side-splitting free-for-all of verbal brawling. Linda Winer of Newsday said "God of Carnage" is ". . . brutally entertaining," while syndicated columnist Liz Smith raved, "Hysterical! Fasten your seat belts and go!" and Variety's David Rooney thought it was "Played to perfection by a scorching cast."
French playwright Yasmina Reza received her first Tony Award in 1998 for Best Play for "Art," which CTG presented at the UCLA/James A. Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood in 1999. She has written seven plays in total including the more recent "Life (x) 3," "The Unexpected Man" and "A Spanish Play."
Christopher Hampton has translated five of Reza's plays including "Art." He is well-known to CTG audiences for his plays "Savages" (1974), "Tales from Hollywood" (1982) and "The Talking Cure" (2004) at the Mark Taper Forum, and "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" (1987 Tony Award nomination) at the Ahmanson (1988). He won a Tony Award for the book and score for "Sunset Boulevard" in 1995 and an Academy Award for "Dangerous Liaisons" in 1989.
Director Matthew Warchus was nominated for a Tony for directing Reza's "Art" in 1998 as well as "True West" in 2000, "Boeing - Boeing" in 2008 and all three parts of "The Norman Conquests" in 2009 (he won the 2009 Tony for "God of Carnage").
Jeff Daniels' Broadway credits include "God of Carnage" (Tony Award nomination), "Redwood Curtain" and "Fifth of July" (Drama Desk Award). He appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club's American premiere of "Blackbird" and received a Drama Desk nomination for "Lemon Sky," as well as an Obie Award for "Johnny Got His Gun" (Circle Rep). His film credits include "Ragtime," "Terms of Endearment," "Purple Rose of Cairo," "Something Wild," "Fly Away Home," "Pleasantville," "Gettysburg," "Dumb and Dumber," "The Hours," "Imaginary Heroes," "Goodnight, and Good Luck" and "The Squid and the Whale."
Hope Davis received a 2009 Tony Award nomination for her role in "God of Carnage," and also appeared on Broadway in "Ivanov" and "Two Shakespearean Actors." Her off-Broadway credits include "Spinning Into Butter," "Pterodactyls," "The Food Chain," "The Iceman Cometh" and "Speed the Plow." Davis was named Best Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle for her work on "American Splendor" and "The Secret Lives of Dentists." Her extensive film credits also include "The Daytrippers," "Next Stop Wonderland," "Arlington Road," "Mumford," "About Schmidt," "Proof" and "Synecdoche, New York," among others. She received both an Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton in the HBO movie "A Special Relationship," and an Emmy nomination for her work on HBO's "In Treatment."
James Gandolfini, nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in "God of Carnage" in 2009, is best known for the role of Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sopranos" for which he received a Golden Globe, four SAG Awards and three Emmy Awards. He made his Broadway debut with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin in "A Streetcar Named Desire." His numerous film credits include "The Man Who Wasn't There," "The Castle," "The Mexican," "Get Shorty," "All the King's Men," "The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3," "Where The Wild Things Are" and "In the Loop," among many others. Next, Gandolfini stars in the HBO film "Cinema Verite" with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins. He was the executive producer of two HBO's documentary films: "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq" (Emmy Award nomination) and "War-Torn: 1861 to 2010."
Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award for her role in the original Broadway production of "God of Carnage." Harden also received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in "Angels in America" (for which she won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards). Marcia Gay has starred in films such as "Pollock" (for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), "Millers Crossing," "The First Wives Club," "Meet Joe Black," "Mona Lisa Smile," "The Hoax," "Whip It," "Into the Wild," and "Mystic River" (where she received another Academy Award nomination). Harden is also well known for her Emmy-nominated roles in "Law and Order: SVU" and "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler," as well as her role in the FX drama "Damages."
Tickets for "God of Carnage" are currently available by subscription only. Individual tickets will go on sale January 30. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling CTG Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.
"God of Carnage" is produced by Robert Fox, David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, Stuart Thompson, Scott Rudin, Jon B. Platt, The Weinstein Company and The Shubert Organization, and presented at the Ahmanson Theatre by Center Theatre Group.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus