'Carnage' replacement quartet waits in wings

The powerhouse quartet waging domestic war every night in Tony-winning play “God of Carnage” will be a hard act to follow, but producers have announced a replacement cast, stepping into the Broadway production mid-November.

Christine Lahti, Annie Potts, Jimmy Smits and Ken Stott will begin performances Nov. 17, replacing Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and James Gandolfini, respectively.

Lahti was last seen on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” in 1990, while Smits’ previous Rialto outing was in 2003, toplining Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer winner “Anna in the Tropics.” Potts will make her Broadway debut in the production, as will Brit actor Stott, who originated the role of Michael in the U.K. premiere of “Carnage” at London’s Gielgud Theater.

A chronicle of one long, argumentative evening between two Brooklyn couples whose civilized behavior steadily descends into hostility and violence, Yasmina Reza’s biting comedy has been playing to capacity audiences since opening at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater on March 22. It resumed perfs in September after a summer hiatus, with no sign of a slowdown in box office; play’s gross to date is approaching $22 million.

Matthew Warchus’ production won this year’s Tonys for play, direction of a play and lead actress for Harden.

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