“Traditional” has never been a word that’s been used to describe Le Chat Noir, Augusta’s “off Broad Street theatre,” so it should come as no surprise that they aren’t staging a sweet play or musical centered around the season.
“Most holiday shows are sickeningly saccharine,” said LCN’s Executive Director Krys Bailey. “When we do a ‘holiday’ show we prefer it to have an edge of cleverness like ‘The Santaland Diaries,’ ‘Reindeer Monologues,’ or a creation of our own, like ‘Misconception.’”
This year, they’re breaking with tradition altogether by performing the Tony Award-winning “God of Carnage,” which opened last weekend and continues this one.
It’s a dark comedy about two sets of parents who try to make amends after their children get into a fight that results in a couple of lost teeth. Instead, the adults behave much as their children do once a little alcohol is introduced into the situation.
“This script has many peaks where characters can no longer sustain their congeniality, they snap and behave incredibly childishly,” Bailey said. “It includes everything from emotional outbursts to destroying each other’s property, but this production is famous for its ‘vomit’ gag. As always, Le Chat Noir prides itself on its realism.”
LCN also prides itself on the caliber of its actors, and this production, Bailey said, is no exception.
“Opening-night audience might have deemed it more of a drama and the second audience certainly saw it as a comedy, but both audiences gave it standing ovations,” he said. “Most of the feedback has been that the acting is unparalleled, and the story is savagely enticing.”
One thing upcoming audiences do need to know is that the play is intentionally written with no break.
“It works off of the building and release of tension and a lot of the humor is born of some of the more awkward silences,” Bailey explained. “As much as we like our bathroom and bar break, we are honoring the author’s device. So take care of business before the shows starts; it only runs an hour and 20 minutes.”
And for those who are still disappointed with the lack of Christmas cheer, Bailey says there’s always next year.
“We have been kicking around an idea for next year specifically for the holiday season,” he said. “We may even have an evening where it’s family friendly, but don’t hold us to it.”
“God of Carnage”
Le Chat Noir
Thursday-Saturday, December 18-20