GOD OF CARNAGE presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Oct. 1. You can read the show description here.
And then there were three (on my list of favorite shows of the 2011-2012 season). Director Ed Stern begins his final season as Playhouse’s Artistic Director with a hilarious, near-perfect production of this 2009 Tony Award-winning play.
Stern stacks the deck in his favor with an extremely talented four-person cast. Each character and each couple are fully fleshed-out and well-defined. For me, nothing that happened on stage seemed out of place or out of character. The multiple transitions, between the shifting topics of conversation and “alliances” within the couples, are handled smoothly and believably.
The fact that I can’t single out any performance or character as my favorite, speaks volumes to the synergy of the show and the quality of the script.
At this performance, I was seated on the extreme left side of the theater. The play began with the Raleighs sitting with their backs to me. Even though I could not see their faces at first, I had a strong sense of their characters through their voice and body language . This is how you act folks.
Narelle Sissons’ set provides a clean, modern-looking space that serves well as a backdrop for the action. Maybe a tad too affluent for the Novaks. Also, if you think about it too much, the layout for the rest of the “house” is kinda wonky.
Bottom line, if you haven’t had a good laugh in a while, this show will fill that void and more. In fact, the cast needing to hold for laughs, easily adds ten minutes to the performance. With an intermission-less running time of one hour and 25 minutes, if you have “issues” when you laugh, be sure to plan accordingly.
Click here for a complete list of showtimes.