But not only has God of Carnage been translated from French into English, it also has been "Americanized." Consider, for instance, the admission midway through the evening by Veronica's husband, Alan, that, despite the fineries of his upper-class existence, he is "fundamentally uncouth." At least that how Alan describes himself in Hampton's English translation. But in Hampton's revised American version, Alan now blurts out, "I am a fucking Neanderthal!" And the audience roars with delight. But is Reza saying anything that Rob Becker didn't already say in his 1990s theater piece, Defending the Caveman (which, by the way, ran on Broadway half again as long as God of Carnage)? Not really. But she deftly targets her content for a wine-sipping audience rather than the beer-chugging fans of Caveman. Yes, Reza knows her audience well.

The Rep production was directed by Edward Stern, and the opening-night audience seemed to enjoy it a lot. The set is suitably slick — but it did seem odd that the locale is set in a Brooklyn Heights home with a spectacular view of the East River, yet not one of the four characters ever looked out the window. The four actors (Eva Kaminsky, Anthony Marble, Susan Louise O'Connor, Triney Sandoval) are well-honed, having played the show in Cincinnati for several weeks prior to opening here. They know when to scream, holler and claw to best effect.

Parents behaving badly: Susan Louise O'Connor and Eva Kaminsky in Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage.
Sandy Underwood
Parents behaving badly: Susan Louise O'Connor and Eva Kaminsky in Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage.

Location Info


Kranzberg Arts Center

501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Art Galleries

Region: St. Louis - Grand Center

Loretto-Hilton Center

130 Edgar Road
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: Webster Groves


God of Carnage
Through November 6 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves.
Tickets are $19-$72.
Call 314-968-4925 or visit www.repstl.org.

Blood Wedding
Through October 23 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand.
Tickets are $15 to $25.
Call 314-863-4999 or visit www.upstreamtheater.org.

Perhaps those same viewers who reveled in Reza's hit comedy Art also might find God of Carnage to be, as Stern proclaims in his director's notes, "extraordinary...hilarious, painful, rich and oh-so-human." Stern does concede that "it does not take long to see how the play will end." As for me, after a constant onslaught of insults and howls, when the play would end became a much greater preoccupation than how it would end. The answer, of course, was obvious: after 90 inescapable minutes.

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