BWW Reviews: GOD OF CARNAGE at Everyman Theatre is Fresh Farce
I have only one complaint about the Everyman Theatre's production of French playwright Yasmina Reza'a GOD OF CARNAGE. That is why couldn't they extend this incredible funny show. GOD OF CARNAGE has become a tough ticket and it is totally understandable.
Translated by Christopher Hampton, GOD OF CARNAGE won the London Olivier Award in 2009 for Best New Comedy and that same year won the Tony Award for Best Play.
The Everyman program quotes the playwright as follows: "What motivates me most is writing about people who are well brought up and yet, underneath that veneer, they break down." And do they ever.
The play is like a roller-coaster ride. It starts rather slowly and cleanly and then all of a sudden "it" hits the fan. So be prepared to fasten your seat belt and don't hesitate to laugh out loud, a lot!!
I saw the original Broadway production that featured a cast that included Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden,and James Gandolfini. They were great. But once again, I have enjoyed the show more in the intimate Everyman Theatre which features a superlative cast: Megan Anderson, Christopher Bloch, Tim Getman, and Deborah Hazlett. I ran into Hazlett getting a quick dinner between the matinee and evening performance and she commented, "We're having a lot of fun doing this." I replied, "It shows!" And it does.
Bruce Randolph Nelson initially was to have played obnoxious attorney Alan Raleigh but due to an injury was replaced by Getman who nails the part. Anderson playss Annette Raleigh and is just terrific in her role.
The two couples are united in the Novak Brooklyn apartment to discuss the ramifications of a fight between their respective children. It seems young 11 year old Raleigh hit the young 11 year old Novak with a stick causing damage to his teeth. What are parents to do? Does young Raleigh have any remorse for his actions? How do parents handle this situation? What do the Novaks do when they find out their child is the leader of a gang?
Director Eleanor Holdridge (head of the Directing Department at Catholic University) handles the shenanigans beautifully. Baltimore's own Timothy R. Mackabee (who I knew when he was in high school at the Carver Center for the Arts) deserves kudos for a fabulous set design, his second for the Everyman Theatre and I'm sure he'll be doing more.
Get thee to the Everyman Theatre for an entertaining 90 mintues of theater.
GOD OF CARNAGE runs to April 7, 2013. Call 410-752-2208 for tickets for visit www.everymantheatre.org.