By Rebecca Weiler
Its precursor was ahead of its time at the turn of the century and forced to close after the first scandalous performance, but “The Blue Room,” presented by The Outrageous Fortune Company at Queens Theatre in the Park, leaves more to the imagination.
The play by Sir David Hare, an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 “Der Reigen,” opened May 14th at Queens Theatre in the Park. As it is designed to attract to a wider demographic than the original, the characters remained clothed, but still full of sex appeal. The costumes, in fact, are one of the best parts of the production, and immediately give insight as to who each character is. This helps the sequence of events, as there is little character development.
The lighting design by David Monroy also adds an extra hint of seduction to each scene with the variations of darkness and candle lighting. The show consists of 10 soap-opera-like vignettes, all ending in sexual innuendos. All segments are relatively short, and the show moves quickly. As soon as we start to learn about the two characters in a scene, one of them is on to the next scene and a new scenario.
The stories are focused around sex, the events leading up to it, and the shift in perspective when it’s over. Consider attending “The Blue Room” with a date. Adults will be able to relate to these stories, and the excitement and tension that often arises at the beginning of new relationships.
All the stories share themes of lust, desire and deceit. The audience can clearly see how sex can change the dynamics of a relationship. The audience is also made aware how long each sexual act lasts for — this is not an incredibly important detail, but it does add some light humor at times.
Brendan Hunt, who plays the student, was the most convincing character, first as the seducer to his au pair, and especially when he is later seduced by the married woman played by Catherine Le Frere, who also doubles as an actress in a later segment. The audience can tell the distinction between her two characters: the unhappy married woman and then the egotistical actress who appears as if she has it all.
Milada Melli-Jones innocently plays the au pair who is seduced by the cab driver and the student. Girl/Model, played by Kristen Royal, was the sexiest of the bunch, varying between a prostitute and model, her long hair and flighty attitude compellingly driving the men wild for her.
Alain Laforest plays a cab driver and a playwright, two distinctly different characters. Eric Kirchberger plays two similar characters, the politician and the aristocrat, and his tall stature and professional body language add the contrasts of power and hesitation to each character.
If You Go
The Blue Room
Cost: $22 advance, $25 at door
When: May 22 at 8 p.m. and May 23 at 3 p.m.
Where: Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Contact: Ronald B. Hellman [email protected] 718-428-2500 x. 20
Web site: outrageousfortunecompany.com