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Theater Review: The Blue Room at the Odyssey

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Christian S. Anderson and Christina Dow star in The Blue Room through May 2. | Photo: Christopher Moscatiello
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David Hare’s The Blue Room is a play about sex. And the longing that sometimes comes with it. It’s loosely based on Austrian writer Arthur Shnitzler’s late 1800s/early 20th century play La Ronde, a critical expose of his generation’s sexual mores.

In La Ronde, and The Blue Room, the 10 scenes focus on a heterosexual couple with each pair containing a partner from a previous scene. So it’s like a daisy chain/telephone game happening on stage with the audience watching various ways that people can screw themselves and each other.

The latest iteration of The Blue Room, under the direction of Elina de Santos as a guest production at The Odyssey Theater in West LA, provides a lot of wham bam thank you ma’am, but not a lot of connection--between characters and with the audience. Has sex become this nonchalant and boring? Or are we not supposed to care for these characters? Half of them don't seem to like their partners to begin with anyway.

Here’s a few lines of dialogue and stage direction from Hare’s play between a cab driver and the new-ish street walker (the first couple):