Theater Review: The Blue Room
The Blue Room at the at the WhiteBox Gallery is intimate theater at its best.
Written by David Hare, The Blue Room is almost certainly the type of play where you not only want to be smack bang in front of the actors, but you are somewhat required to be. Through both setting and narrative, you are drawn into each and every scene as the artists develop and deliver their work no more than two feet from your face. And if you’re anything like me, you soak it right up.
Originally adapted from Austrian play La Ronde (meaning “the round”), which in large part deals with the sexual escapades of its various characters. And though The Blue Room heavily modernizes the 1897 original, it still focuses on the intricacies of human behavior.
A story that finds it’s thesis in human interaction, the interplay that exists between male and female characters comes through as the highlight of the show. Some interactions are physical, some are overtly sexual, and others are conversational, but they all take place in ten short scenes meant to draw you in.
Directed by Max Hunter, this striking production captures the audience by close proximity and creative scene development. Controversial in both its subject matter and general rowdiness, The Blue Room will keep you watching the actors on the stage and not your phone!
Performances by actors Christina Toth and Max Hunter do much by way of captivating that attention. Portraying various female characters, Christina Toth is purportedly the pinnacle of female sexuality and promiscuity with a genuine innocence. Max Hunter, as the various male roles, is the epitome of masculinity, creativity, and apprehension mixed together, both playing off of, and often times clashing with, Toth’s role.
When it first premiered many years ago, The Blue Room won much critical acclaim. With standout performances by both lead actors, brilliantly executed sets and costumes, and a thinkpiece of a story, this production is truly no different.
The Blue Room is currently playing at the WhiteBox Gallery for a very limited time.
Featured Image Credit: Callum Adams