The Performance Network’s current production is the 2009 Tony Award winning comedy, God of Carnage, by the French playwright, Yasmina Reza. After a playground row between two boys, their parents meet to discuss what happened. Although the intent and content of their discussion is polite and peaceful at first, things get—to put it mildly—wildly and hilariously out of hand.
Actress Sarab Kamoo, long a familiar face on many Michigan stages, and also from appearances in a number of major motion pictures and television programs, portrays one of the mothers in God of Carnage. She recently talked about the play and her role with Current.
You were terrific last year in Consider the Oyster, as the mother-in-law from hell! Which is more fun to play, a witch or a sweet Doris Day character?
It’s always fun to play the evil woman. I think in Consider the Oyster she was kind of evil, but she was also really looking out for her daughter. So no matter how horrible the person, I always try to find something that I can connect to, that I really understand, because I think it makes it feel more grounded and closer to home. In God of Carnage I believe in a lot of the same things Veronica does. She really tries to be a peacemaker; she believes that suffering all over the world is just as important as suffering in our back yard. But she also tends to have a kind of better-than-thou attitude, so things go awry.
At times God of Carnage cuts pretty close to the bone. It’s not only a light comedy.
I think we all have these hidden desires to sometimes say some of the things we blatantly say (in the play), like when our husband says something we can’t stand, to attack him. It brings out some of those hidden demons that we all kind of repress—which is a good thing! After a performance I heard a patron say to her husband, “Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to do that to you.” (Laughter) In that way, I think it really hits home with a lot of people.
God of Carnage was originally in French and took place in Paris. In the translation it takes place in New York.
I think Reza’s writing is so wonderful, because in all countries it would ring true. It’s really about people protecting their children, protecting their own selves and their egos. I don’t think that that has to pertain to different cultures; I think it’s just across the board human nature.
God of Carnage continues at the Performance Network through February 19. Times and prices vary. 120 E. Huron St. For tickets, visit www.performancenetwork.org or call 734-663-0681.