“God of Carnage” at Dobama Theatre
God of Carnage, the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Play and 2009 Olivier Award winner for Best New Play, is now playing at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights. A humorous and all-to-real look at modern day suburban life, God of Carnage offers a delightful romp at the theatre.
Written by French playwright Yasmina Reza, and translated by Christopher Hampton, God of Carnage presents a “slice of life” to which many parents can relate. Alan and Annette Raleigh visit Michael and Veronica Novak to discuss an altercation that has occurred between their sons at a community park. Soon the altercation transfers from the sons and the park to the parents and the Novak’s living room, resulting in trivial chaos. God of Carnage provides for a thoroughly entertaining night at the theatre with a great deal of bickering and a hell of a lot of laughs. Theatre goers haven’t had this much fun in someone’s living room since Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Not only is God of Carnage a well written play, which has enjoyed much success in its original French and English-translated incarnations, but this rendition is a very well acted production, too. Scott Miller and Derdriu Ring play the more “corporate-minded” Raleighs while John Hedges and Tracee Patterson give us the more “grounded” Novaks. In their respective roles, all four actors take a rather simple everyday situation (after all, what child hasn’t been in a playground fight at some point in his life?) and take it to new heights. They all present the epitome of a “crazy” and irrational parent while still remaining completely believable.
Joel Hammer, Dobama’s Artistic Director, is the director of this production. I had seen Mr. Hammer’s wonderful performance in Dobama’s stellar production of Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer. He is an excellent actor, but now that I have seen his work as a director, it is quite obvious that he is a multi-talented force in Cleveland’s theatre scene.
The black box space where Dobama Theatre is located is perfect for the edgy and non-conventional productions that the company offers. It is a very warm and inviting space that provides for a very intimate theatrical experience. I had not seen a Dobama Theatre production until last December when I attended The Seafarer. And following that and God of Carnage, I realize that I have been missing out! God of Carnage runs through May 13.
Dobama Theatre is located in the Lee Road Branch of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library at 2340 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Convenient, free on-site parking is available. For more information on Dobama Theatre or God of Carnage, please visit the theatre’s website at www.Dobama.org.
- Christopher S. Musselman