Theatre Mirror Reviews - "PRELUDE TO A KISS"
"What Happened in Boston, Willie"
Reviews of Current Productions
Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone
”PRELUDE TO A KISS”
Reviewed by Tony Annicone
2nd Story Theatre's third show of their fall season is "Prelude to a Kiss" by Craig Lucas. Immediately after a couple named Peter and Rita have exchanged wedding vows, an unknown elderly man asks to kiss the bride. As he does, Rita's body and the old man's magically exchange bodies. Neither Peter nor the wedding guests grasp what has happened. Peter leaves the wedding with a woman he believes is Rita. During their honeymoon, he comes to realize that Rita's body is no longer inhabited by Rita's true personality. He must find the old man and keep his love for Rita alive despite the fact that she is now in an unattractive body. The first act is a series of vignettes that move quickly but the script itself should be stronger in the set up sequence. The second act is much better written and held the interest of the audience thoroughly. Peter and the old man's conversations and interactions are electrifying. Director Ed Shea casts three remarkable leads with talent that soar beyond the weakness at the start of the play. David Sackal as Peter never leaves the stage and delivers a tour de force performance as this young man so in love with his girlfriend who becomes his wife and is devastated at the exchange of bodies between her and the elderly man. He captures the gamut of emotions of the character perfectly. I last reviewed him as Mark in "Mass Appeal" here this past summer.
Lara Hakeem as Rita, does a remarkable job, having to balance the transition from fluttery female so in love with Peter into a colder one who he figures out isn't really his wife after all. How this all plays out, makes for an intriguing evening of theatre. She is a riveting actress whose played many varied roles very well. Bill Oakes as the mysterious man, does a terrific job as he explains what he thinks happened and how they need to straighten things out. Rita's comical parents are excellently played by Joe Henderson and Susan Bowen Powers. His revelation of his scar and her telling her subject to say "bull shit'' instead of cheese, when she snapped wedding photos were two laugh out loud moments. Another comical character is the flamboyant best man played by Charles Lafond who did a phenomenal job in "The Ladies Man" earlier this season. So for an interesting modern day fairy tale with its many twists and turns, be sure to catch "Prelude to a Kiss" at 2nd Story Theatre.
PRELUDE TO A KISS (18 Nov to 11 Dec)
2nd Story Theatre, 28 Market St, Warren, RI
1(401)847-4200 or www.2ndstorytheatre.com