Rhubarb Theatre Company presents the Nashville Premiere of Blue Window, renowned playwright Craig Lucas’ witty, touching slice-of-life play about a Sunday night dinner party in New York. The production, directed by Julie Alexander, takes place Thursday-Sunday, September 22-25 and Wednesday-Saturday, September 28-October 1 at the Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Avenue. Performances begin at 7:30pm, except for the Sunday, September 25 matinee performance, which begins at 2:30pm. Admission to all performances is $12.00. For ticket reservations, call 386-3551.
Blue Window is set on Sunday evening in the fall of 1984. Libby, the central character, is simultaneously preparing for a dinner party and rehearsing for the embarrassments in store for her when she tries—just a little too hard—to make conversation with her guests. We meet these guests in their respective apartments as they prepare to go to Libby’s: Tom, whose ingenuity as a composer remains unknown even to his girlfriend, Emily, who is mysterious to everyone at the party; lesbian couple Alice and Boo who would prefer to be in Italy than at a dinner party; Griever, Libby’s gay friend who’s kidding himself by contemplating a relationship with her; and Norbert, who says almost nothing but turns out to be the perfect container for Libby’s pain. With sharp, humorous dialogue—and even one musical number—Blue Window combines an Italian opera aria and a solo by jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, a passage from Virginia Woolf and game shows, Hermann Hesse and family therapy, skydiving and Eugene O’Neill, Buster Keaton, Descartes and Topo Gigio—all humorously mixed in a bowl of punch. Blue Window also explores the spaces between words, capturing fleeting yearnings that can’t be articulated, conveying intangible moods beneath the dialogue as it investigates what estranges these charming, successful people from themselves and each other in New York’s urban landscape.
Playwright Craig Lucas received the 2004 OBIE for Best American Play for Small Tragedy and the 2003 New York Film Critics Circle Award for his screenplay The Secret Lives of Dentists (directed by Alan Rudolph). His other plays include Stranger, The Dying Gaul, God’s Heart, Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, Missing Persons, a new translation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie and This Thing of Darkness (written with David Schulner). He wrote the opera libretto to Orpheus in Love (composer Gerald Busby) and the book for the musical Three Postcards (composer/lyricist Craig Carnelia); with Norman René, he created the musical Marry Me a Little: Songs by Stephen Sondheim. His directing credits include Joe Orton’s Loot at INTIMAN and two plays by Harry Kondoleon, Play Yourself and Saved or Destroyed (OBIE for Best Director). He directed the film version The Dying Gaul, which screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. His additional screenwriting credits include Longtime Companion, for which he received the Sundance Audience Award, and Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and Blue Window. He has received the Distinguished Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2003 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for mid-career achievement among other honors, and has been awarded Guggenheim, Rockefeller and NEA/TCG Fellowships.
Blue Window features Stacey Shaffer, Trish Moalla, Michael Roarke, Carey Kotsionis, Clay Hillwig, Arita Trahan, and John Vasile. Rhubarb Theatre Company artistic director Julie Alexander directed Larry Kramer’s 1985 play The Normal Heart this past June at the Darkhorse Theatre, Birds in Church, a collection of one act plays by playwright Joe Pintauro, in 2004 at the Darkhorse and Last Summer at Bluefish Cove in April 2003, also at the Darkhorse. She has acted and directed in Off- and Off-Off-Broadway in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2003 Alexander received a Tennie Award for Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.
Visual artist, Nancy VanReece will be installing a series of works based on the script of the play. "I was taken back by how many times in the script the color blue was actually mentioned." VanReece explained, "I enjoy incorporating words into images and before long there were 6 linograph prints and 2 box canvasses completed all based on lines from the actual play." VanReece will also have on display a new work titled "Blue Rain" that is the first in what she is calling the Big Sky series. All nine works will be on display during the course of the play and available for purchase at the box office table. For more information visit www.nancyvanreece.com.
Rhubarb Theatre Company is dedicated to addressing issues of diversity, tolerance and understanding through the freshness of contemporary theater. Nashville ‘s increasing diversity has fostered an appreciation and thirst for more urban, sophisticated performing arts. Rhubarb Theatre Company strives to fill this need with edgy, challenging, entertaining theater that explores the human psyche and urges that underline current issues.