God of Carnage
What: Stage dramedy
Where: Blue Barn Theatre, 614 S. 11th St.
When: Tonight through Oct. 18. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 6 p.m. Oct. 6 and 13.
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students and senior citizens.
Information: 402-345-1576 or bluebarn.org
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Struggling to pick the perfect shows for the Blue Barn Theatre's 25th season, director Susan Clement-Toberer settled on a theme of “Over the Edge.”
“What is it in our lives that will push us over the edge, to show parts of ourselves that are not our best qualities but are real in each of us?” Clement-Toberer asked. “I went with my gut and chose plays that triggered a response in me.”
Yasmina Reza's “God of Carnage” opens the Blue Barn's silver-anniversary year tonight.
The play finds two upscape New York City couples who meet to discuss a playground altercation between their sons. One hit the other with a stick, breaking a tooth.
The conversation starts out very civilized, Clement-Toberer said, but it doesn't end that way.
“It's a slice of life,” she said of the 90-minute piece with no intermission. She said the conversation's twists and turns mean it's not a linear piece with a beginning, middle and end. The subject matter changes on a dime.
Stage veterans Jerry Longe, Jill Anderson, Ablan Roblin and Theresa Sindelar play the clashing parents. Clement-Toberer said all four have finely honed comedic chops but are strong dramatic actors as well.
Reza is best known for her 1998 play “Art” and for “God of Carnage,” which opened in 2009. Both won best-play Tonys, and both focused on characters who sometimes display bourgeois attitudes. Reza has said she didn't specifically write “Carnage” as a comedy.
Clement-Toberer said she never directs a play as either a comedy or drama, focusing instead on the story. But she said the writing in “Carnage” definitely has a farcical nature the further the story progresses. She calls it “a very funny tragedy.”
She described the sunken-living-room set, designed by Martin Scott Marchitto, as something out of “Mad Men,” with a retro flair, though the play takes place in the present.