God of Carnage
Who: Covey Theatre
Where: Oncenter Bevard Studio, John H. Mulroy Civic Center
When: Through April 19
Reviewed by Lateshia Beachum
French playwright Yasmina Reza’s creation, God of Carnage has made its debut at the Covey Theatre with a solid cast.
God of Carnage is set in wholesaler Michael and his writer wife Veronica’s living room. The couple meets with the parents of the boy who knocked out their son Henry’s teeth after he wouldn’t allow the other boy to join his gang. The other couple, attorney Alan and his seemingly financially pampered wife Annette show up to discuss the incident. What initially starts out as a mature, civilized conversation between parents trying to reconcile an issue between their children eventually dissolves into immature behavior that offers insight in each person’s view of marriage, kids and controversial topics that include race and misogyny.
The cast has an admirable level of symbiosis that doesn’t create a dynamic of upstaging one another. Perhaps, it was the writer’s way of implying that the characters themselves were all on an equal level of insanity and with a hint of ugliness that just comes along with being human. Indeed, Michael (Mark Cole) is the standout comedic character with his occasionally deadpan responses wrapped in his Mr. Rogers all-American package of dress pants and cardigans. His delivery of f-bombs during his moments of character reveal offers some of the funniest moments of this one act play.
His wife Veronica (Moe Harrington) also gives the audience her fair share of laughs with her well-executed moments of tension paired with the break down of her frustration realizing that sometime civilizations is hard to manage in matters of children and parenting.
The other couple (Robb Sharpe and Aubry Ludington Panek) also have their moments of comedic flair, but at times they are stifled by slow timing that can feel like an abrupt contrast to their more physically comedic actions.
The actors manage to use the most of the set, which is beautifully decorated. Red sculptures framed by black squares are suspended in the air behind the actors, and it offers a beautiful touch of interior design with the color matching certain spots in the rug that rests on the floor. The set is clear, clean and well thought out, truly representational of the couple.
God of Carnage is sure to be a hit with parents who are familiar with the awkwardness of communicating with other parents and for those who like to laugh at the absurdity of decorum.