In our modern era of fear and insecurity, suspicion and despair, hatred and fanaticism, sometimes the best forms of entertainment are the most cynical. Not the type of cynicism that makes you want to climb into a hole with a bottle of whiskey, necessarily; rather, a kind of happy cynicism that only good satire can bring.

The Actor’s Gang’s revival of “Carnage, A Comedy” falls into this second camp. By use of farce, slapstick and whatever cheap trick they can pull from their pockets, the gang succeeds in making us laugh through our tears as we follow the adventures of Reverend Cotton Slocum.

The Reverend is no ordinary man of God. He is the CEO of God’s Happy Acre, a Christian-themed amusement park located somewhere in Middle America. Portrayed with fantastic exuberance by actor V.J. Foster, Slocum leads the church by virtue of his magnificent gift of Bible-thumping gab.

When the financial returns come back indicating that God’s Happy Acre is in the red, Slocum decides to embark on a pilgrimage – that is, a 50-mile walk-a-thon to raise money for a children’s hospital whose existence we doubt. As the story moves along it can be difficult at times to follow what’s going on, but thanks to a fine cast and high quality lighting, costumes and set design, there’s rarely a dull moment.

“Carnage, A Comedy” is a biting, almost bitter indictment of the hypocrisy prevalent among Christian televangelists and the business of selling salvation. The show does not pretend to offer hope or solutions; it simply offers an outlet for our collective revulsion at the ignorance and evil of our fellow Americans.

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