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The Blue Room by David Hare – Los Angeles Theater Review

 

SOMETHING BLUE

 

picture - The Blue RoomTheater Review

by Harvey Perr 

published April 4, 2010 

 

The Blue Room

now playing in Los Angeles at the Odyssey Theatre 

through May 2 

 

Although this is a visiting production, it has all the earmarks of what we have come to expect from the Odyssey Theatre; it is a European classic – Schnizler’s Reigen – newly adapted by one of England’s leading dramatists, David Hare. Enough said. Bring on the play. But, as Gertrude Stein once said (okay, I’m paraphrasing), there is no play there. If it was a success in New York and London, it was clearly because there were enough people interested in seeing a glimpse of Nicole Kidman’s ass to sit through this heaping pile of inept writing, lazy characterizations, and pointless observations on class. You want to see Reigen? There is a beautiful film version you can rent – Max Ophuls’s La Ronde – in which some of France’s greatest actors gave their best performances. Or you want to see an updated contemporary version of the same material? You should have seen Fucking Men at the Celebration Theatre, where Schnitzler’s roundelay of lovers was transformed into a lacerating and compassionate portrait of gay relationships. You want to see the ten characters played by only two actors? You’d better get great actors. In Hare’s version, even greatness may not be the answer. It would probably be an act of cruelty to mention the names of anyone involved in this production, since their bios boast of solid credits and even a host of theater awards. It might be kinder to just let them move on. But somebody has to tell the leading man that acting is not a marathon race and, if he is going to play five different characters, shouldn’t they at least wear different underwear?  There should be some way to let us know.

 

harveyperr @ stageandcinema.com

 

 
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