Name calling and throwing things are not nice especially for grownups who should know better. On stage at the Compass Rose Theater in Annapolis, “God of Carnage” offers an intimate look at the breakdown of human relations and what happens when seemingly nice, normal people can no longer cope under pressure or false pretenses.
… collectively the skilled ensemble artfully gives “God of Carnage” plenty of life and laughter.
At the center of “God of Carnage” are Alan and Annette Raleigh and Michael and Veronica Novak, two couples who couldn’t be any more different. After their sons Benjamin and Henry get into a fight at a local park, the parents agree to meet at the Novaks’ Brooklyn residence to discuss the repercussions and figure out a possible resolution.
A lot goes down in that living room in a short amount of time. All of the actors do a phenomenal job in capturing the personalities of their complex characters. Jeanne Dillon Williams who plays Veronica is entertaining and convincing as an uppity, reactionary mother who can’t seem to relax as she constantly worries about the world at large, while James Gallagher plays her husband Michael, a loud, laid-back everyday man who has a mean streak when pushed. On the other end of the spectrum, Nigel Reed plays Alan, a brash lawyer who is constantly on his cell phone, and the lovely Miranda Zola plays Annette, a prim soft-spoken wealth manager, or so it seems.
Individually, each actor has their own standout moments, while collectively the skilled ensemble artfully gives “God of Carnage” plenty of life and laughter. As outsiders looking in, the audience can’t help but wonder how polite conversation spanning child-rearing, art and culture over coffee and Klafouti can quickly turn into an epic shouting spectacle with shocking and hilarious surprises along the way.
Running Time: One hour and 15 minutes with no intermission.
Advisory: Not appropriate for children under 16.
“God of Carnage” plays at the Compass Rose Theater through March 26, 2017. For more information, click here.