At left, two men sit on a couch while one talks on his cellphone. At right, two women sit across from them talking animatedl. A vase of yellow flowers sits on the coffeetable between the men and women.
God of Carnage with AstonRep Credit: Paul Goyette

AstonRep Theatre Company returns to live performance after a COVID-induced hiatus with a new staging of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s 2006 comedy, which the troupe previously presented in 2012. Reza’s play, in British playwright Christopher Hampton’s 2008 English translation, concerns two heterosexual married couples, the Novaks and the Raleighs, brought together because their 11-year-old sons had a fight in which the Raleigh boy knocked out some of the Novak kid’s teeth with a stick. Though the parents attempt to resolve the situation through polite negotiation, their own behavior becomes increasingly volatile as conflicts across class and gender escalate into a childish free-for-all, with the husbands and wives turning on each other.

God of Carnage
Through 12/12: The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa, 773-828-9129, astonrep.com, $20 (discounts for students/seniors available).

AstonRep founder Robert Tobin, who appeared in the company’s earlier production of the play, codirects the show with Derek Bertelsen as the inaugural offering in AstonRep’s new home, the Edgewater-based Edge Theatre’s intimate Off-Broadway space. Mike Newquist and Erin Kathleen O’Brien as the Novaks and Mark Tacderas and Maggie Antonijevic as the Raleighs handle their characters’ shifting alignments capably. But Reza’s satiric point—that the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie is a fragile facade for our animal aggressions—seems quaintly obvious in today’s angrily and sometimes violently divided world.