Tuesday, March 03, 2009

God of Carnage

In God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza (Art), two couples get together to discuss, in a civilized manner, an incident between their 11-year-old sons that left one boy without his incisors. I saw an early preview, so some things are likely to change.
  • Here is what will likely get even better: the performances of Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, and James Gandolfini.
  • Here is what will likely remain the same, unfortunately, since this play already had a successful run in London: characters who keep saying they're going to leave when you know they can't because then the play would end; unconvincing revelations of personality that seem like devices to keep the plot moving; echos of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf that only serve to emphasize God of Carnage's weaknesses; and a forced comparison to violence in Africa that attempts to give the play a weight it hasn't earned.
  • And here's why much of this may not matter: the show has some very funny moments; the actors are so good that they frequently rise above the material; and much of the audience gave the show a standing O (unless they were standing for Tony Soprano, which is completely possible).

1 comment:

KDubs said...

I totally agree. The writing was so flat and obvious- dont know if it's in the translation or if the playwright herself is just super banal. The actors are all incredible, though. Wish they had better material to work with.