Sunday, February 19, 2012

God of Carnage

So somewhere along the way I heard it was not cool to review a show that was still in previews. But I'm giving myself a pass on this one for three reasons: 1.) I'm not a REAL critic. Just a regular person who likes to blog. 2.) I don't have anything harsh to say about this show. 3.) I waited so long to write about it that the show actually closed yesterday. But you have to cut me a little slack since I took a trip out of state, bought a house, and moved into said  house. But, I wanted to write about this show anyway because it was such an experience.

About two and a half weeks ago I was blessed to see Tennessee Repertory Theatre's production of God of Carnage. This show was recently on Broadway, and like many shows, I missed seeing it. When I found out that Tennessee Rep was doing a production, I knew I wanted to go.

When I bought tickets, I wasn't aware that they were for a preview, so I was quite surprised to find out that I was seeing the first preview of the show. I went with a couple of friends of mine who are fellow theatre lovers. It's always more fun to see a show with friends.

The story behind God of Carnage grabs the part of me that is curious to see how people react in certain situations (maybe I should have majored on psychology?). Two sets of parents meet after their sons get into a fight in the park, resulting in one child losing some teeth.

Alan Raleigh and his wife Annette Raleigh, played by David Alford and Shannon Hoppe, have been invited to the home of Michael and Veronica Novak, played by Jeff Boyet and Shelean Newman.
As the parents meet to talk things over in a "civil" manner, they all try to present their best side.
But as with any parents and their need to see the best in their children, cracks begin to show almost immediately.

From the beginning, it's obvious that both sets of parents are uncomfortable with each other and with the situation. Veronica is quite obviously trying to play champion to her son, though she tries (quite unsuccessfully) to hide that fact. Alan Raleigh, a lawyer, is quite detached with the situation at hand and quite attached to his cell phone, much to the annoyance of his wife Annette and their host Veronica.

Quickly the cracks in the "civil" meeting begin to appear, quickly followed by the cracks in the personal relations between both couples. Toss in some alcohol, lose some inhibitions, and drop some public fronts and you end up with complete and total chaos.

I don't have any desire to spoil the end of the show, should you ever get to see a production of it, but I love that this play is basically like putting a camera in a room and letting it roll. There's no real resolution and no real story arch, but I find it intriguing to see a show like this. Written by Yasmin Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton, I find the show honest and real.

This show is worth seeing, and I hear there's a movie based on it as well. While I'm so behind on the game that you can't go see the Tennessee Rep production, I have a feeling this show will become quite popular in regional and community theatre, and I would jump at the chance to see it again.

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