“God of Carnage.” Yasmina Reza, playwright. Matthew Warchus director. Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, Broadway.
Yasmina Reza is a French playwright whose works transcend barriers of language and culture to reveal the core of human relationships. She has a gift for lifting the rock of good-mannered stoicism to reveal the baser human emotions squirming just below the surface of our smiles. Her first play, “Conversations After a Burial,” set the theme for most of her other plays, which focus more on conversations than on events or actions.
In her award-winning “Art,” a 15-year friendship among three men unravels when one of them buys an expensive piece of art that is nothing more than a huge white canvas. The purchaser expects his friends to praise his new acquisition, as all good friends should. We all know better than to tell a friend, “That new haircut looks ridiculous.” But here, the conventions are violated. One friend calls the painting nothing but “white shit,” and the conversation devolves from there. Ensuing conversations center on art, but the play is really about friendship and honesty.Continue reading