Carnage & Mayhem

This past Saturday night I enjoyed one of the best stage productions I have ever seen.

theatre ticket

“Sticks and stones can break my bones”… but when Benjamin hits Henry at a nearby park, it starts two sets of parents on a comically explosive downhill slide from political correctness to character assassination. In this universally acclaimed new comedy by the author of Art, adults come together for a civilized evening of coffee, cake and conversation about their kids. But frayed nerves soon surface and the grownups begin to outdo their pugnacious children in bad behavior, disproving the notion that “words can never hurt me.” Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, God Of Carnage is a hilariously harrowing look at the minefield of modern marriage.

“Hilariously harrowing” is accurate, in the sense that this is a tragicomedy. I have never laughed so boisterously at a performance before, but each laugh ripped open an emotional gash that is still festering. Well, maybe not technically a tragicomedy because it doesn’t have the traditional happy ending, but there are enough belly laughs to levitate a mood that only turns dark when the final curtain goes down and the stage lights come up.

god of carnage program

A Roman Polanski adaptation of this play is soon to be released as a film. Take a peek at the trailer below – although, to tell the truth, I think the two actresses on stage last night (Amy Resnick & Joey Parsons) far outshine what I can see in the trailer of Jodie Foster & Kate Winslet. Then again, Polanski is said to be “darkening down” his production from the original screenplay.

It is about an hour’s drive back from the theatre in downtown Tucson to where I am privileged to be staying as a guest up in the Santa Catalina foothills (elevation 3200’) in an upscale retirement community, Saddlebrooke. The house borders the 12th hole of a golf course. Javelinas and deer are ubiquitous, bobcats are not rare, and coyotes yip & yap up and down the fairway at their pleasure.

saddlebrooke golf course

The view is spectacular, particularly the pristine sky at night. Which is why Saddlebrooke has no streetlights.

coyote shadowI was driving slowly only a block from the house, counting my lucky stars, still thinking about the play, when carnage and mayhem collided. First, in the black of night my headlights picked up a mother javelina and five little ones crossing the street in front of me. No problem; I was able to hit my brakes in time. But then, almost immediately, a large coyote darted from the shadows and smacked into the door on the passenger side of my car. And when I went back to check on the coyote, a fawn wandered slowly across the road without her mother, looking lost. The coyote was apparently on a chase, in the midst of a bonanza, and out of nowhere my SUV suddenly became his malevolent white whale. 😦

I was sick to my stomach about the coyote. At first light the next morning I walked back and thoroughly searched the area, but found no sign of him. Apparently he wasn’t killed outright. But he either has a nasty headache or a career-ending injury.

Let’s hope for the headache!

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