I love the premise of God of Carnage. I went into the theater hoping for a smart look at an issues that comes into the news now and again. A set of educated, smart, sensible parents are brought together by a playground altercation between their two eleven year old sons. They are together to resolve a playground incident between their respective sons that resulted in one of the boys losing his teeth.
I was equally enthused by the actors. The cast of four includes Hassan El-Amin who was so fun as the Wizard in Last years The Wiz and Sally Nystuen-Vahle who last year made Cabaret's Fraulein Kost so endearing.
The evening starts out civil, but it is very quickly you can see how badly this is going to turn. The evening turns so nasty at one point that one of the women becomes sick. This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen on the stage, the scene goes on for several minutes, not a word is spoken and it is brilliance.
One of the most interesting facets of this story is how quickly and seamlessly the alliances between the four change. From couple vs couple to men vs women it reveals not only the fragility of both marriages but also how irrational parents can become when protecting their young.
While the cast is superb this show belongs to the women. Sally Nystuen-Vahle has an ability to connect with an audience no matter the role. Here she makes you feel for the character and she makes you laugh-alot!
Christie Vela is the repeated scene stealer in this hysterical romp. Though this is a very close call between the women. She is best when she completely loses it and goes over the edge.
The play runs 76 minutes without intermission and plays the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which is one of only three theaters by legendary architecht Frank Lloyd Wright. God of Carnage runs through June 17th. Tickets are $15-$40 and available at http://dallastheatercenter.org/
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