nytheatre.com review by Saviana Stanescu
I have always wondered why some plays that are well written, have clever
lines, and a strong and clear metaphor, don’t succeed in seducing the
audience. Viewing Inventing Color helped me with one of the
answers I was looking for.
August 15, 2002
The story of four hard-working engineers who invented Trinitron—a revolutionary device which set the basis for color television and computer screens—is a bitter one and conveys the powerful message of the individual exploited and manipulated by the corporate system in a society worshiping the god of money.
Although spiced with some "dirty" and political jokes, the play seemed to me rather an undeveloped script for film or an outline for a novel. Shapiro, who is known as a novelist and screenwriter, is obviously very good at exploring subtle psychological states and inner dramas which can be developed by the techniques of cinematography and prose. But as a play, lacks a power to surprise and capture you in its world, and occasionally fails at the "dramatic tension" exam.
The director Siobhan Reynolds and the actors do their very best in the difficult circumstances of an intelligent and thick story with a great recipe—all ingredients have a huge potential—and a result not too easy for one’s stomach. Nevertheless, this arthurmillerian drama of honest, talented, nice, wise "losers," prisoners of the 9-5 daily routine, has its power to impress and it might be a trigger for some revelatory insights.