God of Carnage is the Ritz Theatre Company’s latest offering in this, their 30th season. Written by French playwright Yasmina Reza, it is a comedy set in modern day Brooklyn.
The play has only four characters, two married couples who come together to discuss their sons’ altercation on the playground the previous day. The couples start out with all the niceties, but manners start to fray, and then snap. The facades come off, the rum comes out, and by the end of the play, all manners and niceties are long gone. All this is done with razor sharp wit, and the laughs abound.
I liked what director Esther Flaster said in the playbill: “In my 14 seasons at The Ritz, most of the plays I have directed have had stories and characters that dealt with someone dying or being killed! How refreshing to be working with material whose worst tragedies are that a boy loses two front teeth, and a lawyer loses his cell phone.”
The couples are played by John Jackowski (Michael), Jessica Doheny (Veronica), Paul McElwee (Alan) and Maureen Corson (Annette). All four do a wonderful job of portraying their characters, and interact with perfect timing. So much of comedy is about spot-on timing, and these actors deliver.
A fun side note: the set’s couch, two chairs and painting on the wall were to be up for sale after the show’s run.