By Bea Wolff
Multiple award-winning playwright David Hare adapted Arthur Schnitzler’s play “Reigen” and updated it a century later as “The Blue Room.” Dedicated to observing human sexual appetite and the attendant morality that either defends or forbids it, this play primarily shows sex as a guilty pleasure. Even though considered by some to be one of David Hare’s weaker offerings, it opened on Broadway to much fanfare, due in part to the presence of a bared Nicole Kidman in one of the two lead roles. The main reason for its prolonged success is simply that sexuality is captivating. This play engages the audience, turning them into voyeurs and part of the sexual experience they are witnessing.
The two actors, playing ten different men and women with moments of humor, hunger and anguish in a daisy chain of sexual encounters, are foremost to be celebrated in SOLOCAT Productions’ presentation of “The Blue Room.” The courage and trust required by Christian S. Anderson (The Man) and Christina Dow (The Woman) are remarkable to watch, as they engage in explicit sexual adventures and explore the characters’ personal belief systems while doing so. They manage to convincingly undergo a transformation of characters, with an ease that would make Violin Spolin proud.
With carefully choreographed direction by acclaimed director Elina de Santos, the action takes place on a minimal set, with excellent and evocative lighting, set design, musical segues and costuming to buoy the exploration of sex and the sense of existential meaninglessness that accompanies it here.
The “Blue Room” runs through May 2, 2010 at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by calling (310) 477-2055 or at www.plays411.net/blueroom.