“Children Consume Our Lives and Then Destroy Us” – Michael
I am not an expert in theater. I like to think I am more reflective of the average audience member. The last time I needed to learn lines was 1985. Obviously, things didn’t work out for me in that regard. In the past seven years, however, I have had the opportunity to see many great people in many great performances.
Tonight was the most intense 80-minute live performance I have ever experienced. The performance of “God of Carnage” at The Black Box Theater at McHenry County College was unlike anything I have ever witnessed, which is not exactly true, much of it felt like I was in the middle of the story.
The plot was fairly simple, two young boys have a fight on the playground and their parents get together to determine what to do about it. The ebbs and flows of their conversation pull you in and keep you engaged from the first minute until the lights dim.
On my drive home, I was trying to determine what exactly made this so compelling. Was it the space? The Black Box Theater is amazing, but no. Was it the writing? The story is great – simple and complex at the same time, but that wasn’t it. Was it the set? Again, fairly simple with an amazing attention to detail, but that wasn’t it either. It was the perfect casting and leadership from Director Kellee Stall (with help from Assistant Director Kate Curtin).
This is not the first show that I have had the pleasure to see under the direction of Kellee Stall. Her talent selection, use of physical space, attention to detail and creativity are simply amazing. Her passion for each project she takes on comes out in the performance.
This is the first performance I have experienced where I could not envision anyone playing any of the four roles other than this cast. They were each perfect for their roles. I can’t believe these lines were not written specifically for them.
Shannon Mayhall played the role of Veronica. She was intelligent, intense, feisty, sad, hilarious, and charming – all at the same time. She made you love her, hate her, feel sorry for her, agree and disagree with her. She continues to amaze me with her character range.
Patrick Thompson is Alan. Anyone in business that has a cell phone can relate to Alan. He is wise, witty, sarcastic, frustrated and sophisticated. Alan does not want to be involved in the conversation, but is also the one who will never leave it. If you have not had a chance to see Patrick perform, you need to.
Jay Geller is Michael the neanderthal husband of Veronica. He is loving, spiteful, kind, mean, and playful and a man’s man all rolled into one. Michael is the epitome of a middle-aged man who is content and frustrated with his life.
Laura Power plays Annette, the wife of Alan. Her character is everywhere from scared to embarrassed to sick to angry. Her performance was delightful and I am really glad I was able to see it. She was the perfect compliment to the other cast members.
The magic of this show was interplay of these four magnificent characters. It is hard to describe in too great detail without giving anything away. One thing is for certain; you might want to catch one of the early shows because you will want to see it more than once. I will be there next weekend, join me.
Performances will be held July 10, 11, 17, 18 at 7:00 pm and July 19 at 2:00 pm
Review submitted by Sir William from 2 Dudes and The Duchess.
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