AUBURN – No problem with this plan. A couple of young boys get into a fight, so the two sets of parents arrange to have a civilized talk about the altercation and the relatively minor injuries.
That’s the premise for “God of Carnage,” a triple-Tony-winning play of the 2009 Broadway season. Community Little Theatre will present the show Feb. 8-17.
Two up-scale couples, the Raleighs and the Novaks, meet in the Novak living room to discuss their sons’ disagreement at the park. The mood is serious, friendly and tolerant in the beginning, but it disintegrates into pettiness and gutter language as the adults regress to distinctly juvenile ways, and the result is quick, explosive and dramatic.
Richard A. Rosenberg is directing “God of Carnage.” He has directed and acted in many plays at Community Little Theatre ranging from the 44-member cast of the musical “Grand Hotel” almost 20 years ago to this four-character cast in “God of Carnage.”
For this challenging play, Rosenberg selected four veteran actors who are well-known to Community Little Theatre and other audiences. Mark Hazard and Cheryl Reynolds portray Alan and Annette Raleigh opposite Roger Philippon and Michelle Vasquez-Jacobus as Michael and Veronica Novak.
The two ordinary couples, the Raleighs and the Novaks, meet in the Novak living room to discuss the recent fight between their sons, Henry Novak and Benjamin Raleigh. Benjamin has struck Henry with a stick, knocking out two teeth, injuring a nerve to the right incisor and there’s swelling of his upper lip. Rosenberg points out that the two 11-year-olds, who are not in the play, probably would have resolved their differences in minutes, yet the adults cause the situation to escalate into chaos.
It is called a comedic drama, and although there are no jokes in the usual sense of a comedy, Rosenberg notes that there are “plenty of laughs in watching these so-called civilized people fall apart.”
Rosenberg said “God of Carnage” presented him and the actors with some significant challenges. He said the characters in most productions have a personality that carries through the entire play. In “God of Carnage,” the four actors start out as refined and gracious people who feel they can simply sit down over drinks and reach a civilized outcome in the alleged bullying incident. It’s not that easy, and Rosenbern said, “It is just very funny” as the language gets out-of-hand. He said this play is definitely not for children.
Rosenberg said he saw the show during its Broadway run, and he immediately wanted to present it to CLT audiences.
“I loved it, and as soon as it became available, I grabbed it,” he said.
“God of Carnage” was written by Yasmina Reza and it was translated from the original French script by Christopher Hampton. Originally performed in France and London, it won the Lawrence Olivier Award. Its Broadway run garnered three Tony Awards, including Best Play in 2009.
Rosenberg is assisted by Celeste Philippon, also a veteran director. The production crew includes Stefanie Lynn, producer; Brandon Chaloux, stage manager and props; Carole Hodgkin, set décor; Derek Johnson, sound design; Richard Martin, light design; Gerry Therrien, lead set construction with Phil Vampatella; Ellen Hodgkin, costumer; and Heather Lea, hair/makeup; Jacynthe Jacques, lobby photographer; and Rachel Morin, publicist.
Performances are at Great Falls Performing Arts Center, 30 Academy St., Auburn. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Feb 8, 9, 14, 15, 16; and at 2 p.m. for Sunday matinees Feb. 10 and 17
Tickets are $18 and $15. For tickets call the Box Office at 783-0958 or visit the Web site at www.laclt.com.