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The Suburbanite
  • On the Beat: Polite parents turn ballistic in superbly edgy comedy ‘God of Carnage’

  • “God of Carnage” is a comedy — a dark and decidedly adult one — that won the Tony Award for best play and was a sold-out hit on Broadway in 2009. The newly formed Parallax Theatre Company is presenting this hip, edgy and very current play right here in Canton with a superb cast.

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  • Remember the MTV reality show that  promised to reveal “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real?”
    In “God of Carnage,” the brisk and bracing contemporary comedy playing this weekend on the Players Guild’s arena stage, that process happens quickly.
    Two married Manhattan couples — civilized, concerned, well-to-do people — meet one afternoon to discuss a playground altercation between their 11-year-old sons. Specifically, one of the boys hit the other one in the face with a stick, knocking out two of his teeth.
    Steadily, things grow uncomfortable, tense and honest. By the play’s end, a lovely bouquet of tulips has been shredded and tossed on the floor. A prized bottle of rum has been consumed. There’s been yelling, profanity, ugly accusations, teeth-baring aggression, even vomiting.
    And, oh, how fun to watch this foursome transform and unravel from the safety of one’s seat!
    “God of Carnage” is a comedy — a dark and decidedly adult one — that won the Tony Award for best play and was a sold-out hit on Broadway in 2009 with original stars James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis.
    The newly formed Parallax Theatre Company is presenting this hip, edgy and very current play right here in Canton with a superb cast. Under the direction of Craig Joseph, this is some of the finest ensemble acting I’ve ever seen on a local stage, brimming with energy and inspired details that seem utterly of the moment.
    Melissa Brobeck is sharp, shrewd and self-righteous as Veronica, the mother of the attacked boy and the hostess of this cozy little gathering. Brian Scharfenberg plays her husband, Michael, a friendly, easy-going guy who is wound tight.
    Moriah Ophardt is Annette, the civilized career woman whose true colors bleed when mixed with booze.  
    Johnny Russell plays Alan, the kind of shark-like attorney, perpetually distracted by his cellphone, who might spawn a playground bully.
    I don’t want to say much more, just that this terrifically juicy and entertaining production deserves to be seen. Remaining performances are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cultural Center for the Arts. Tickets, $15, may be ordered at 847-456-2030 and also will be sold at the door.
    RYAN GOES ZOMBIE
    Fans of AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” should especially enjoy Ryan Humbert’s new music video for his single “Waiting For the Lightning.” Filmed over three days in late September, in downtown Akron, Green, Jackson Township and Aultman Hospital, the elaborate video is a “Walking Dead” homage. “We had a blast doing it,” said Humbert. “Everybody in the band is a big fan of the show.” Find it at http://tinyurl.com/ab6p8ju.
    Page 2 of 2 - CLEVELAND TV MEMORIES
    This year’s Deck the Halls Christmas celebration at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, running Nov. 23 through Dec. 30, will feature the presence of Mr. Jingeling, Santa’s “keeper of the keys,” who for many years was a seasonal favorite on Cleveland TV’s “Captain Penny Show” and at Halle’s department store in downtown Cleveland. At Stan Hywet, Jingeling (now played by Jonathon Wilhelm) will hold forth in the Corbin Conservatory. For more details, visit www.mrjingeling.com and www.stanhywet.org.
    Ghoulardifest 2012, a celebration of the irreverent horror-movie host Ghoulardi aka Ernie Anderson and other Cleveland TV personalities, is happening today through Sunday at the UAW Hall in Parma. Highlights include a Big Chuck and Lil’ John pizza-eating contest, continuous live entertainment, a dealer’s room offering nostalgic collectibles, a Saturday-morning cartoon festival, and appearances by Dick Goddard, Bob “Hoolihan” Wells, Son of Ghoul and others. For full details, visit www.theghoulardifest.com.