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Darien Arts Center's 'God Of Carnage' Receives High Praise

The Darien Arts Center's production of "God of Carnage" has received high praise from critics.
The Darien Arts Center's production of "God of Carnage" has received high praise from critics. Photo Credit: Jeff Wyant

DARIEN, Conn. – The Darien Arts Center’s staging of “God of Carnage” continues this weekend and the production directed by Mark Graham has received some high acclaim.

“God of Carnage” tells the story of two couples who come together for a conversation after their 11-year-old sons get in a fight, leaving one with two broken teeth. Their attempts to reach closure in the matter fall apart as civility gradually dissolves in the conversation. The play stars Gary Betsworth, Larry Reina, Jessie Gilbert and Eileen Lawless.

“It is a play I have really wanted to direct and we have an extraordinary cast that is having great fun with the script and characters,” Graham said.

Graham has a master of fine arts degree in directing from the University of Connecticut and has been in the theater world for many years. He has served on the boards of the Westport Country Playhouse and Playhouse on the Green, and is a former president and board member of the Theatre Artists Workshop. He was the producing partner of Tony Award-winning producer Lester Osterman for 10 years. He also was the general manager of Lucille Lorel’s White Barn Theater in Westport and one of the founding members of the Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport.

The show has received high praise from critics for, OnStage Connecticut, CT Theatre News and Reviews, and Connecticut Critics Circle.

“Under the brilliant direction of Mark Graham, this play is also a seamlessly fluid study in small group dynamics,” wrote Cindy Cardozo of and OnStage Connecticut. She praised the cast. “The strong cast brings these couples realistically to life, in all their full three-dimensional glory…Ms. Lawless is perfect…It is fun to watch Mr. Betsworth as he finally lets loose.”

Cardozo said the performance was “brilliantly rendered, hysterically funny and highly entertaining.”

“Reina nails the amoral lawyer,” wrote Geary Danihy of Connecticut Critics Circle and the blog CT Theatre News and Reviews. “It is Gilbert who gives us the most nuanced performance of the evening, transforming her character from a somewhat put upon adjunct to her husband’s life into a tigress defending her young.”

Performances of “God of Carnage” will be held in the DAC Weatherstone Sudio, 2 Renshaw Road behind Town Hall. They are scheduled at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. There will be a talkback with Graham following the Saturday, Nov. 15 performance and a discussion with local psychotherapist Maud Purcell following the Friday, Nov. 21 performance.

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