Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck
As one of the most cleverly written plays I have seen, 'Blue' has only two characters, and yet there are clearly two good cops and two bad cops in this gripping drama. In short -
the audience sees multidimensional portrayals of these characters.
The play begins before the audience enters the theatre space. Once they climb the stairs entering into a unique setting where the 4th wall is broken, it's as if they themselves become the walls of the investigation room. One strong light is hovering over the darkness all around. In this realistic ambiance the water cooler was used by some audience members, not realizing that it was a prop on the stage. As everyone took their seats the space became silent. Only the wonderment of expectations lingered.
As the play starts, it appears to be a one-sided narrative but the writer astutely shifts through the complexities of both characters. It's a play that can be perceived either way, as each viewer surveys their own conscience. If you look at this work of art with an open mind, it is clear - that both sides are right and both sides are wrong.
Nothing justifies certain actions or dispositions of the characters. In pointing out their different sides of the story and the feelings behind them, two good/two bad cops get to the truth by exposing the frailties of human behavior.
They were once like family, prior to this moment. There is love and deep care expressed at the very beginning and sometimes that sentiment pops here and there throughout the play - in between the hateful remarks towards each other, the anger, and vitriol. One leaves the space with a sense of wonder, 'How can love and hate live so closely together?'
Under the direction of Michael Matthews, the cast, John Colella (Boyd Sully) and Julanne Chidi Hill (LaRhonda Parker) shine with star qualities. The understudy for LaRhonda Parker is June Carryl (the playwright). Blue is produced by Guillermo Cienfuegos, Sara Fenton, Kila Kitu, Mildred Marie Langford, Tarina Pouncy, and Betsy Zajko who says, 'Theater, as far as I see it, is a two-way mirror, to tell the truth, and to see what we're made of.'
The collaboration between Joe McClean + Dane Bowman (Production Design), Christopher Moscatiello (Sound Design), and Rich Wong (Stage Manager) completes the magnificence of this production.
I strongly recommend you see this tense picture of today's world.
Just to mention, "This production is the inauguration of The Henry Murray Stage, upstairs at the Matrix, In keeping with Henry's legacy, this space will primarily be used for small world premiere productions and new play workshops. Henry passed away in 2014. A fund for new play development was established in his honor and has provided funding for more than 15 world premiere productions. Henry was a founding member of Rogue Machine and our first literary manager."
The World Premiere of June Carryl's Blue runs at 8 pm
, Mondays, and 3 pm Sundays, upstairs on the Henry Murray Stage at the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. It is approximately 65 minutes with no intermission.
For tickets to the live performances of