God Of Carnage

“This was the worst idea! We should never have arranged this meeting!” – Veronica

That is EXACTLY why you have to see it!  Novato Theatre Company  produces a brilliant play with superb timing, inviting you for a meeting you would never want to host, but wouldn’t dream of missing.

Novato Theatre Company

October 26-November 11

French playwright Yasmina Reza has taken a simple setting and concept, and layered on all the complexity of human beings -and relationships – without the veneer.  Or a very thin one: Alan and Annette Raleigh (played by Ken Bacon and Jena Hunt-Abraham) have come to the home of Michael and Veronica Novak (played by Marty Lee Jones and Heather Shepardson) in Brooklyn to discuss the fracas that resulted between their boys, with the Novak boy making an emergency trip to the dentist with two chipped teeth.   The delightfully uncomfortable tension is built before the actors take the stage.   Niceties are initially present but eventually stripped away as  flawed, more extreme behavior is exhibited.   You watch in conflicting amusement and horror as you think, ‘Wait, did they really just say (or do) that? Oh wow, they did!’

God of Carnage implies something akin to war- but when we are talking comedy, that means the ‘land mines’, are laugh-out-loud:  The hamster, the flowers, the cell phone – this production is not to be missed.  There is a certain amount of physical comedy and the actors do a great job of not letting it become overly slapstick.  The play builds on itself and while it has the potential to become less believable, the actors make you feel for them.  When a character seems a little one-dimensional, subtly, something about their humanity surfaces and you realize they are, like us all, imperfect; And struggling to maintain the image of who they think they are. While failing. Miserably.

Terry McGovern has done a magnificent job leading a talented cast through, as he aptly described, “the Sturm and Drang of a freeway chase”.  The set design is perfection, transforming as the atmosphere changes.

A production not to be missed.  October 26-November 11.

novatotheatercompany.org