Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
God of Carnage
The premise is that two sets of parents have come together to sort out and make sense of an act of violence that occurred between their two sons. The version being used by Asolo Repertory Theater sets the piece in Brooklyn, although the first English language production was set in Paris, according to an interview with director Greg Leaming in the Season Program. I find it hard to imagine American parents being able to maintain such a civilized demeanor in a situation so loaded with explosive emotions; perhaps French parents could handle this more calmly. In truth, I never really warmed to the play. It began rather slowly, did get more explosive in the middle, but I never found the interactions between the characters particularly involving. I found my mind wandering several times during this short, a mere 67 minutes, play. Nothing that I saw on the stage shed any light for me, on any universal truth, in the way that a great piece of theater can.
The play does not make any strong technical demands on a theater, and Asolo has put forward a perfectly adequate production. Sets, costumes and lights all work in service to the play. The strongest part of the production is the acting by the four cast members, all of whom appear in Once in a Lifetime, currently playing in repertory along with a production of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yentl. I cannot imagine the challenge of playing a modern drama one night and a '30s stylized comedy the next. Bravo to all four actors. I always enjoy seeing company members in multiple roles each season and season after season.
Asolo Repertory Theater presents God of Carnage through April 6, 2012, at the Mertz Theater in the FSU Center. 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Sarasota, Florida. Box Office (941) 351-8000. For more information visit www.asolorep.org.
Veronica Novak: Kate Hampton
Directed by Greg Leaming