Reviewed by Marie J. Kilker
Relationships of singles and couples in an apartment that stands for several apartments cut across space before the seven people in them come together. The occasion: a dinner party thrown by Libby (Julie Lachance, uptight) in a sleek apartment with a huge window looking into the blue sky overlooking New York City. After years of social avoidance, she's apprehensive about hostessing noted lesbian novelist Alice (articulate Jessie Blue Gormezano), who'd rather be in Italy with her resentful lover Boo (Karis Danish, aptly playing ever drunker). While Libby practices how to praise Alice about her novels, Tom (Juan Javier Cardenas, moody) struggles to compose just the right innovative music to play on his guitar. His girlfriend Emily (Jennifer Ryan Peery Logue), who hates her pedestrian job, listens wistfully. (She'll sing eerily later about her disappointments.) Apparently just waiting to join the party, Norbert, a sky diving instructor (calm, stable Marcus Denard Johnson), is a contrast to Matt Brown's animated, possibly gay Griever. When his fellow-in-therapy Libby phones him to say she's just lost a cap on a front tooth, Griever, just out of the shower, fusses while dressing and grooming. He does try to convince her to get past the mishap, but Libby feels he lacks compassion.
When they all come together for the party, it becomes for each a slice of life. Each reveals some facet of his or her self, as if components of a shared meal. Hardly a banquet, however. (The characters are too banal.) When all but sympathetic Marcus have left, Libby delivers her personal story of tragedy and her efforts to overcome it. Though it's the least mysterious, most interesting revelation, it seems too long yet brings out a lack of substance in the other characterizations. Author Lucas' 1984 metaphorical window, keeping the equally blue sky both in and out, allows a glimpse of an urban self-absorbed generation. They've come together pointlessly, though individually each seems to want to improve, to live a better life.
It would seem that Lucas, too, was at a point of looking to bring together traditional components of drama (words, music, story, acting, directing) in a new, modern, allegorical way. That's not just having the characters face forward as they speak and even as they weave in and about each other. What Blue Window is about is less important than what it is. Still, what it has become is a challenging vehicle for actors. The players here meet the challenge well.
Modernistic Scenery is by James Florek; Lights, Jeffrey Dillon; Costumes, Michele Macadaeg. Randy Spaulding is Pianist and Musical Coach. Stage Manager Sarah Gleissner is assisted by Elizabeth Ahrens. The play runs 1 hr., 45 mins. Without intermission.