Regional Reviews: Seattle
Blue/Orange at Intiman Theatre
In the great tradition of plays and movies like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Snake Pit, and Girl Interrupted which are set in and around mental institutions, playwright Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange is a stand-out drama. And happily, the Seattle premiere production at Intiman theatre is, in large part, an exhilarating theatrical experience.
Directed with playfulness and power by Kate Whoriskey (in her best Intiman directorial stint yet), Blue/Orange depicts the dilemma of Christopher, an involuntarily hospitalized young black man whose release from a mental institution becomes the subject of passionate debate between his outspoken young psychiatrist Bruce and his manipulative mentor Robert. The title of the play comes from Christopher's assertion that the inside of an orange is blue, one of several delusional quirks that landed him in the psych unit to begin with. Oh, and he also think's he's the son of Idi Amin.
Matthew Smucker's abstract, surrealist set design captures the quirkiness of the text admirably, as does Scott Sielinski's harshly clinical lighting.
Blue/Orange runs at Intiman Theatre at 201 Mercer St in Seattle Center through August 24. For further information visit their website at www.intiman.org.
- David-Edward Hughes