Alan, Veronica, Michael and Annette are definitely not nice people, and that’s what makes Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage a perennial theater favorite. New Village Arts’ production directed by Jessica Bird features a delightfully feisty cast. Manny Fernandes and Kristianne Kurner are Alan and Annette Raleigh, whose son hit with a stick (thereby paving the way for all the “carnage” to come) the son of Michael and Veronica Novak, exquisitely portrayed by Jeffrey Keith Jones and Melissa Fernandes.
The pace at NVA drags a little in the first 15 minutes or so of this 75-minute black comedy, but once all civility is forsaken and sheer hell is unleashed, God of Carnage, as it always does, finds its nasty-spirited stride. Melissa Fernandes’ lecturing but ignitable Veronica is ever at the forefront of the fracases, whether they’re between the two couples or between the husbands and wives. Carnage’s infamous projectile vomiting moment, which not even the luminous Kate Winslet in the 2011 film adapation could prevent from turning your stomach. is rather mild in this production. It still gets horrified laughs, though, as does the hapless “cleanup.” Now that’s entertainment.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat