Tuesday, June 7, 2011

God of Carnage

Finally, finally got to see the Tony award winning God of Carnage a couple of weeks ago.    I'd missed seeing this in New York and have patiently waited for it to come to L.A.    Luckily for me, it was part of the subscription this year, and featured the original Broadway cast of Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis,  James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden...and it was wonderful.

The casting couldn't have been better for this story about two sets of parents who get together at the Brooklyn apartment of one of them, to discuss a school yard fight between their respective 11 year old boys and, what starts out as a civilized conversation, ends up a free for all, as liquor is consumed and food and other things go flying and the thin veneer of civility that so often coats situations like this, ends up revealing a dark, sad, but hilarious underbelly to the individuals involved.

The one and a half hour, no intermission production, goes by so quickly,  you find yourself switching empathy from one character to another, and finally end up just marveling that these consummate professionals could do this night after night and even another show that same day.

It was hard to pick one performance that was better than the others,  they were all wonderful.  But I have to say that I now know why Marcia Gay Harden won the Tony award for her role as the aggrieved mother of the boy on the receiving end of a beating.  The woman never gives a bad performance.

This is one of those times when everything works and the audience spontaneously jumps up immediately to show their gratitude to those who entertain us and make us keep wanting to come back to the theater for more.

Ben Brantley of the New York Times pretty much said it all in this paragraph:

“Never underestimate the pleasure of watching really good actors behaving terribly . . . highly skilled stage performers take on roles that allow them to rip the stuffing out of one another, tear up the scenery, stomp on their own vanity and have the time of their lives."

And the nice thing about it is that they allow us to go along for the ride.

We all walked out of the theater looking forward to a fun discussion of the premise and the characters that populated this very witty, well acted piece of entertainment.

The play ended up being the highest grossing, non musical in the CTG history.

Fig and Olive

We wrapped up the  day with drinks at The Four Season's Hotel and dinner at  Fig and Olive on Melrose Place.   It was my turn to pick the restaurant and everyone was very happy with my choices to finish off a perfect day.

Another great day in La La Land.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

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