Review: The Engeman’s GOD OF CARNAGE
By: Melissa Giordano
Having seen a previous less-than-stellar local production of Yasmina Reza’s Tony winning play God Of Carnage, I’m thrilled that Long Island’s John W. Engeman Theatre has added it to their season this year. Leave it to The Engeman to redeem a show. This intelligent and well-executed incarnation runs through March 6th at the gorgeous Northport venue.
Engeman’s Producing Artistic Director, Richard T. Dolce, wonderfully directs the four person cast in the one act comedy. The tale centers on two couples meticulously discussing an altercation their sons had at school. In turn, as the show progresses, we find the parents becoming increasingly juvenile and belligerent. Of course, that is partly due to the rum that was offered as refreshments.
The first couple of the Broadway caliber ensemble consists of Alet Taylor as Annette, who is in “wealth management” (her husband’s wealth, that is) and Chris Kipiniak (Broadway: Metamorphoses, Macbeth) and Alan, an always-on-the-damn-cellphone corporate lawyer. It is their son that allegedly did the assaulting. The second couple is Nancy Lemenager (Broadway: Chicago, Movin’ Out, et. al.) as Veronica, an author, and Mickey Solis as Michael, a houseware wholesaler. They all work incredibly well off each other and completely let loose particularly with the childish shenanigans.
It seems the most important thing you must have is a very strong comedic cast to mount this show. The Engeman’s fantastic company delivers superbly as expressed by the enthusiastic sold out audience. The chemistry is apparent and its relatability seems to be another reason why this is such a well-received piece. You regularly see parents wrongfully defend their “little angels” and the parents end up looking as bad as the children.
Mr. Dolce’s creative team is just as outstanding as the cast. Set in the living room of Veronica and Michael’s home, Stephen Dobay’s beautiful design, enhanced stunningly by Driscoll Otto’s lighting, consists of a high back wall filled with brick-a-brack and many books with several tables and couches perfectly positioned on the stage for the upscale Brooklyn home.
And so, God Of Carnage, is indeed another hit for Long Island’s John W. Engeman Theatre. A wonderful company and hilarious story make for a wonderful night of theatre.
God Of Carnage is presented by the John W. Engman Theatre of Northport, Long Island, through March 6th. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
By Yasmina Reza, Directed by RICHARD T. DOLCE, Scenic Design by STEPHEN DOBAY, Costume Design by TRISTAN RAINES, Lighting Design by DRISCOLL OTTO, Sound Design by LAURA SHUBERT, Casting by WOJCIK/SEAY CASTING, LLC, Stage Management by FRAN RUBENSTEIN
Staring CHRIS KIPINIAK, NANCY LEMENAGER, MICKEY SOLIS, and ALET TAYLOR
Photo by Michael DeCristofaro; NANCY LEMENAGER, MICKEY SOLIS, ALET TAYLOR, CHRIS KIPINIAK