May 20, 2013

Almost Blue

A small band of misfits, thrown together in one man’s shabby rooming-house abode, makes desperate swipes at connection in “Almost Blue,” an absorbing thriller now playing in a Theatre on Fire production at the Charlestown Working Theater......At the center of the action is Phil (James Bocock), an ex-con guilty of an unspeakable crime, who says he doesn’t belong outside prison. With his hangdog face and burly physique, Bocock epitomizes the gentle giant, imbuing Phil with sympathy amid the pathos. Inside his seedy room, realized in spare but striking detail by designer Luke J. Sutherland, Phil stumbles from one gin-fueled hangover to another, unable to get past his crippling sense of guilt and regret.

Terry Byrne - Boston Globe

The sets, lights, and costumes create a crappy room in a rooming house that you really don’t want to stay in very long. (For the purpose of this play, that’s a good thing.) The gritty set by Luke Sutherland uses the space of the Charlestown Working Theatre brilliantly, incorporating a brick column into the set, in addition to making the room seem so gross. Sometimes gross is good, in the case of Theatre on Fire’s “Almost Blue,” very good indeed.

Robin Allen LaPlante - 90.9 WBUR The Artery

Almost Blue is billed as "a modern noir thriller set in a seedy rooming house." In my experience, it is more challenging to create the noir ambiance on stage than in a film, but the Theatre on Fire team of designers does a pretty good job of fulfilling the task in the intimate confines of the Charlestown Working Theater. Scenic Designer Luke J. Sutherland's vision of seedy includes peeling wallpaper, a grimy skylight window, and pieces of severely-used furniture.

Nance Grossman - Broadway