|God of Carnage
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Stellar cast set to behave badly in first L.A. revival of Yasmina Reza’s scathing, Tony Award®-winning comedy ‘God of Carnage’
LOS ANGELES (April 13, 2022) — Bad behavior has never been so much fun. Foursome Productions presents the first L.A. revival of Yasmina Reza’s scathingly funny, Tony Award®-winning God of Carnage. Peter Allas directs a visiting production at the Odyssey Theatre for a limited three-week run, May 13 through May 29.
Inspired by a real event and taking place in real time over the course of 90 minutes, God of Carnage is a comedy of manners... without the manners. When two 11-year-old boys have a playground fight, Henry’s parents invite Benjamin’s mother and father over for cocktails, hoping to discuss the situation civilly. But the veneer of polite society quickly falls away, and the evening deteriorates into an intense and darkly funny train wreck of finger-pointing, name-calling, tantrums and tears.
“When my daughter was at Roosevelt Elementary in Santa Monica, the parents’ behavior was always far worse than that of the kids,” says Allas. “This play is totally on the money. I remember being at one PTA meeting about school lunches, and I couldn’t believe what was going on.”
Translated from the French by playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton, God of Carnage, nabbed both London’s Olivier Award for Best Comedy and Broadway’s Tony Award® for Best Play. It hasn’t been seen locally since its 2011 run at the Ahmanson.
Reza worked closely with Allas to approve casting of this current production. Taking on the roles of Henry’s parents are Lisa LoCicero, known to millions as Olivia Falconeri on General Hospital, and Matthew Downs, seen in Station 19 and Straight Outta Compton. Jack Esformes (Under a Black Cloud, currently streaming on Amazon Prime) and Leilani Smith (NAACP Best Ensemble Award-winning production of Flyin' West, both at International City Theatre) play the “guests.”
The Foursome Productions creative team includes scenic designer Tyler Scrivner; costume designer Mylette Nora; lighting designer Gavan Wyrick; sound designer Jesse Mandapat; graphic designer Kiff Scholl, AFK Design; and casting directors Michael Donovan, CSA and Richie Ferris, CSA. The production stage manager is Angelica Estevez. Adriano Aragon is executive producer for Foursome Productions, and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces.
“[Yasmina’s] plays are deceptively simple,” said Hampton in an interview. “But actually, when you’ve sat through them, you feel they’ve given you an insight into all kinds of things. She is extremely wise, but she is also quite tough, so that she’s not going to let those characters off the hook. She is very interested in people behaving badly, which is always a source of great entertainment to an audience… I love to hear the sound of audiences laughing.”
Reza is a French playwright, novelist and actress known for her satiric plays that speak to contemporary middle-class anxieties. Her play Art, a hilarious look at the bonds of friendship viewed through the prism of modern art, was also translated by Hampton for British and American audiences and was also the recipient of the Tony Award® for best new play. Other plays include Conversations apres un enterrement (“Conversations After a Burial”) and La Traversee de l'hiver (“Winter Crossing”), each the winner of France’s prestigious Moliere Award; L'Homme du hazard (“The Unexpected Man”), Life x 3, Une Piece espagnole: theatre (“The Spanish Play”) and Bella figura (“Beautiful Figure”), which she wrote for the Schaubühne in Berlin and later directed in a Paris production. Reza is also an acclaimed novelist, and she is the author of a detailed biography of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Allas is a director, actor and acting teacher originally from Chicago and New York City, and currently based in Santa Monica and San Francisco. He began his directing career at New York’s famed Circle Repertory Company. Recent directing credits include the award-winning Bay Area premiere of All The Way by Robert Schenkkan (nine Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominations); a smash hit revival of The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis; the U.S. premiere of Brilliant Lies by Australia’s number one playwright, David Williamson; a critically acclaimed production of Lakeboat by David Mamet; and a lauded production of Reasons To Be Pretty by Neil LaBute at the Firescape Theatre Co. in San Francisco’s Union Square, where he is co-artistic director. In L.A., Allas received Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nominations for directing productions of John Patrick Shanley’s Savage In Limbo and Italian-American Reconciliation. He recently directed an innovative off-Broadway revival of Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, which earned rave reviews at Manhattan’s Davenport Theatre. In 2020, he directed Gateway Theatre’s touring production of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow, scheduled to open in San Francisco later this year. As an actor, Peter Allas has been seen on TV in shows including The Blacklist, Seinfeld and The Sopranos; garnered Method Fest and Naples Film Festival Best supporting actor awards for his role in the film My Brother Jack; earned a Helen Hayes Award for his role as “Teach” in Mamet’s American Buffalo at Washington DC’s Studio Theatre; and won a Carbonell Award (South Florida) for his role as “Ricky Roma” in Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Mr. Allas is co-owner, witj Rob Zimmerman, of ZA Studios acting studio.
Performances of God of Carnage take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., May 13 through May 29. There will be one preview performance on Thursday, May 12 at 8 p.m. All tickets are $45, except the preview, which is $30. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. Parking is $5 in the onsite lot.
For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 ext 2 go to www.Onstage411.com/Carnage.
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