Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blue Door - Seattle Repertory Theatre

Blue Door
Seattle Repertory Theatre
February 1 – March 4th, 2007
Tickets and Information

Is it possible for society or people to “beat the black out of you?” Tanya Barfield explores this notion in her play Blue Door. Bravely dealing with the social issues surrounding African-American culture in the United States from Pre-Civil War times though our modern day, Barfield’s play expresses the different sides of the issues from submission to success. With its use of music and subtle visual changes, Blue Door is a play to be experienced by all of the senses.

Directed by Leigh Silverman, Blue Door features the talents of Narelle Sissons (Set Design), Mary Louise Geiger (Lighting Design) and Daryl Waters (original music). Sisson’s simple and extreme open set gives the two actors enough room to open themselves up to the audience and each other while not feeling lost in an overabundant space. Augmented by Geiger’s lighting, the set and coloring come across poignantly to accentuate specific plot points and time or location changes. Waters’ music brings a sense of culture and tradition to the play in a manner that only as accurate music could.

On stage, Hubert Point-Du Jour, playing a myriad of roles from Lewis’ (Reg E. Cathey) family tree, does a phenomenal job at balancing his characters and mannerisms through his rapid changes in personality. His transformations are clear and precise yet seamless enough to go almost unnoticed as a change in one person. His characters’ influence on Lewis is apparent as the play progresses and his message comes through loud and clear.

Photo by Chris Bennion. Reg E. Cathey and Hubert Point-Du Jour

Though the show is a bit difficult to follow throughout much of the time, Blue Door offers a very powerful message of self-awareness and acceptance. While it can be troublesome to keep track of the direction of the emotion of the show and, again, the plotline through the different characters played by Point-Du Jour and Cathey, it is certainly a potent evening of theatre.

Review by Nigel Andrews

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