God of Carnage plays out in real time over 90 minutes or so in the NYC apartment of Veronica (Katie Wodele) and Michael (Don Maloney). They have invited another couple, Annette (Jamie White Jachimiec) and Alan (Bill Williamson), over for a civilized discussion after an altercation between their sons. It seems the latter's son hit the former's son in the face with a stick, knocking out two of his teeth. They meet to discuss what to do about it and how to resolve the situation. But of course it's not really about the children, it's about the parents, and as the time goes on (and coffee gives way to rum) they each let down their pleasant company facade and let the truth fly with all the ugliness that often entails. Conflicting parenting styles and world views collide, as alliances between the four are made and broken. Needless to say, they don't ever get around to solving their children's problem, and instead find they have even bigger problems to deal with. The reason this "people behaving badly" play works is that each of the characters has humanity and depth, so that maybe you can empathize with one or more of them, even as you're horrified by their words or actions. Because being human is messy, and most of us don't have things figured out as much as we pretend to.
|the cast and set of God of Carnage (photo by Twin Cities Headshots)|
|Bill Williamson, Jamie White Jachimiec, Katie Wodele,|
and Don Maloney (photo by Twin Cities Headshots)
God of Carnage is a smartly written dark comedy that's beautifully executed by the team at Lyric Arts. It's slightly dated in terms of one character (only) who has a cell phone with removable battery and sim card (remember those?), but in a way it's even more relevant today than when it premiered nine years ago. We've perfected our facades through the use of social media, where we present our best (and least real) self. This play digs beneath that false surface. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cringe, it might even make you recoil in disgust at times. In other words, it's a fun night at the theater. But it plays through next weekend only, so make your plans to head to Anoka soon (which I hear is the Halloween capital of the world, so October is not a bad time to visit).