Bad behavior has never been so much fun. Artistic director caryn desai [sic] jump starts International City Theatre's 27th season at the helm of Yasmina Reza's scathingly funny, Tony Award-winning God of Carnage. The limited, four-week engagement runs January 27-February 19, with low-priced previews on January 24, 25 and 26. Here's a chance to see this hilarious comedy in ICT's more intimate setting and watch the fur fly up close!
God of Carnage is a comedy of manners... without the manners. When two 11-year-old boys in Brooklyn's upscale Cobble Hill neighborhood have a playground fight, Henry's parents (Leslie Stevens and Greg Derelian) invite Benjamin's mother and father (Alet Taylor and David Nevell) for cocktails, hoping to discuss the situation civilly – to "practice the art of co-existence" rather than "slaughter each other with insurance claims." But the veneer of polite society quickly falls away, and the evening deteriorates into a laugh-out-loud train wreck of finger-pointing, name-calling, tantrums and tears. And that's before they break out the rum.
French playwright Yasmina Reza's comedy, translated by Christopher Hampton, nabbed both London's Olivier Award for Best Comedy and Broadway's Tony Award for Best Play, and was recently released as a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski. Prior to God of Carnage, Reza was best known for Art, also a smash Olivier and Tony Award-winning comedy. Other writing credits include Conversations After a Burial and Winter Crossing which each earned the prestigious Moliere Award. She translated Kafka's The Metamorphosisfor Roman Polanski, and has written three novels:Hammerklavier, Une Désolation and Dawn Evening or Night.
ICT's 2012 season is its 27th and the first selected by desai in her new role as artistic director. Subtitled "Adults Behaing Badly… unless They Ain't," the lively 5-play series marks ICT's commitment to new works and development, with two West Coast premieres: the political musical The Fix ("politicians behaving badly") and Michael Hollinger's provocative drama Ghost-Writer ("ghosts behaving badly"). The remaining two plays are Ken Ludwig's Leading Ladies ("men behaving badly") and the musical revue Ain't Misbehavin'(but…one never knows, do one?).
"The enthusiastic response to our season announcement has energized us all," notes desai, who was recently honored with a Long Beach Rosie the Riveter 'We Can Do It' Award. International City Theatre is Long Beach's Resident Professional Theater at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and the recipient of the Margaret Harford Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle for Sustained Excellence in Theater. "Our orchestra section only has five rows, so we can guarantee that the audience will experience Reza's deliciously wicked comedy in an all together new way," she says.
Set design for God of Carnage is by Stephen Gifford; lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick; costume design is by Kim DeShazo; sound design is by Chris Kittrell; hair and wigs are by Anthony Gagliardi; props are by Patty and Gordon Briles; casting is byMichael Donovan Casting; and the stage manager is Pat Loeb.
caryn desai's recent directing credits include The Old Settler, Loving Repeating...A Musical of Gertrude Stein, The Clean House, Bright Ideas, Backwards in High Heels, Once on This Island (six NAACP nominations including direction), Raisin (LADCC Best Production), and Dinah Was (multiple Ovation nominations). She has served on grant panels for L.A. County and the City of Long Beach and as a speaker/panelist for the SRO Theatre Conference at USC on Best Practices, the Technical Theatre Conference about the role of a director, and more. She represented ICT as a National Participant for the Listening Post Project with John Hopkins University and was named "Enterprising Woman in the Arts" in Long Beach. caryn is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has taught college theater classes for over twenty years. She has an MFA from UC Irvine, a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and a BA from CSULB. Continuing education: certificates in Arts Administration, Marketing and Fundraising. caryn completed the first Arts Leadership Initiative with the L.A. County Arts Commission and received a full fellowship to complete an executive program at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, selected as one of fifty arts leaders in the nation. She also completed an Executive Coaching Initiative at the Hudson Institute, Santa Barbara. Previously she served as administrator for the Walt Disney Entertainment Arts Program. Most recently she received the Rosie The Riveter Foundation's "We Can Do It" Award for Arts and Culture.
Greg Derelian (Michael) Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square); Captain Stanmore in Oroonoko; Dolabella in Antony and Cleopatra and Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist (Theatre For A New Audience); Yank in The Hairy Ape (Irish Rep); As You Like It; also Henry V and Othello(The Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte); Down South (Rattlestick Playwright's Theater); Cyrano de Bergerac (Metropolitan Opera of New York); Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather (Player's Theatre); Big Trouble in Little Hazzard(Soho Playhouse). Regional credits include Coriolanus in Coriolanus, and Antonio in Twelfth Night (Old Globe Theatre); Oliver Twist(American Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Rep); ten seasons with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (most recently as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew and Mark Antony in Julius Caesar); The Blue Demon (The Huntington Theater); Lover's Leap (Fulton Opera House); The Birds (Yale Rep). Derelian holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
David Nevell (Alan) Arms and the Man (South Coast Repertory); The Scene (Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara); The Tragedy of The Commons (Pasadena Playhouse); Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles); Amphitryon (Huntington Theatre Company); The Crucible (Pittsburgh Public Theatre); Henry VIII, The Tempest (Utah Shakespearean Festival); A Christmas Carol (Geva Theatre) and The Game of Love and Chance (San Jose Repertory). From 1997-2000, Mr. Nevell was a resident artist at PCPA/Theaterfest, where he appeared in Light Up the Sky, The Winter's Tale, Arcadia(Garland Award), Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Amadeus (Garland Award), Twelfth Night, and Anything Goes. He is currently Head of Voice/Movement in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University Fullerton and is a founding member of The Gravity Project, a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, and serves as Associate Editor of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).
Leslie Stevens (Veronica) Poor Behavior (Mark Taper Forum); Sweet Charity (Knightsbridge); La Cage Aux Folles, Victor/Victoria andTwelve Dreams (Lincoln Center); My Fair Lady (NY Philharmonic); Can Can and Ray Charles LIVE (Pasadena Playhouse); Nightmare Alley (Geffen Playhouse); and DIVORCE the Musical (Hudson Theatre).
Alet Taylor (Annette) Carly in Having It All (Ovation nomination); Nightmare Alley (Geffen Playhouse); Adelaide in Guys and Dolls(Cabrillo Music Theatre); Hold-Me/Touch-Me in The Producers (Las Vegas), Lick-Me/Bite-Me in The Producers (first National Tour);One Touch of Venus, Boys From Syracuse, L'il Abner (Encores! City Center). Other credits: Passion, The Mystery of Edwin Drood,The Brain From Planet X and The First Ever Nudie Musical. She can be seen monthly performing at the Gardenia with Kritzerland Cabaret.
God of Carnage runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 2 pm, January 27 through February 19. Three preview performances take place on Tuesday, January 24; Wednesday, January 25; and Thursday, January 26 @ 8 pm. Tickets are$37 on Thursdays, and $44 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except opening night which is $55 and includes a reception with the actors following the performance. Preview tickets are $29. International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 300 E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations and information, call the ICT Box Office at 562-436-4610 or go to www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.