“The Blue Room” by David Hare produced by The Schoolyard at Odd Duck Studio

The Schoolyard, in this, its second production, boldly offers one of theatre’s most definitive explorations of heterosexual sex. It’s David Hare’s adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play, “Reigen.”

Now for those of you who don’t know Schnitzler, some background information might be useful. Schnitzler was a physician who appeared to be obsessed with sex. He has gone down in history as requiring daily intercourse throughout his mature life. Kubrick adapted one of his novellas for the erotic movie “Eyes Wide Shut.” And when he wrote “Reigen” even he thought some of the scenes too sexually explicit to be performed. When it was staged 20 years later, the police closed it down.

So, what do we have on stage at Odd Duck Studio? It’s a series of sexual encounters of varied length and success, a daisy-chain of partner changes that reveal lust, lasciviousness, lechery, loneliness, and longing. There’s not much love, and in this production there’s little passion. Don’t go expecting to see nudity. What you will get are two clothed actors in ten scenes playing characters from all levels of society getting it on in various fashions.

Mariel Neto is fetching as both the young and older females. She’s effective both as provocateur and as mark. Andrew Murray makes a fine student and cab driver. He doesn’t, though, have the gravitas for the roles of older, more powerful, though not necessarily sexually competent, men.

Directors Todd van der Ark and Luke Sayler have been most ambitious in staging this work of so many scenes. It requires a bit too much furniture moving and set redesign given the limitations of the space.

Though not one of the most polished shows in town, it’s one of the most audacious. If you bother to explore the nature of the characters’ non-sexual relationships, you’ll find more than voyeuristic satisfaction here.

Through April 21 at Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave., Seattle, (206 984-8006 or www.theschoolyard.net).

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