Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Prelude to A Kiss"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2001 by Robert Guenthner

"Prelude to A Kiss"

Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump

Every once in awhile I will go to a play, and be so entertained, that the two hours go by in an instant. This play was one of those once in a whiles.

The director wrote in the playbill:
"Prelude To a Kiss is a fantasy comedy --- a fable --- a fictitious story meant to teach a moral lesson. As in any good fable, the process of restoring order generates suspense, ironies, cautions, humor and reflections upon the exact nature of humanity. What this play celebrates is the redemptive power of unselfish love that survives transient flesh.
"As in any classic fairy tale, the characters overcome obstacles to seal their union and live happily ever after."

The story is about two young lovers who meet in a club, and after a very short relationship, marry. At the wedding an old man, no one knows, kisses the bride. A flash of light. An exchange of souls. The old man is now in the brides body. The young girl is transported to the old mans body. Our couple go off on their honey moon. Their time together becomes strained, as Peter suspects that his new bride is not herself. When he begins to question her about her inconsistencies, Rita leaves him. Peter goes to the club where he first met Rita. He sees the old man, they talk. The soul exchanging is explained to Peter. Rita is tricked into returning to the apartment. Rita and the old man discuss the reasons for the swap. Both parties decide they want to return to their original selves. The lights flash again, exchange complete. Marital bliss over takes our newly weds. We have to assume they live happily ever after.

The ensemble was window dressing. The boys were handsome, the girls pretty.

David was quite believable as Peters friend and sometime confidant. David is an accomplished second banana who should get a chance to star.

Pat, I found out after the show was ill. A trooper, what ever was wrong, it did not effect her performance.

Ron; he is an actor who is comfortable with comedy or drama. When ever I see his name listed in the credits I know I am going to see one of the best.

Bob, his white hair and shuffling gait belied his true agility. A wonderful job of acting in a role that could have been over acted quite easily. He brought the proper amount of dignity to his part.

To separate Tom And Angela would be almost impossible. Very seldom do you see actors connect the way these two did.

Angela is a lovely looking young lady, with a nice shape. The beach scene proved that to me. She showed her diverse acting ability through out the show. Going from a cookie free spirit, to a sexy lover, to a man in a womans body. Angela was able to augment a one word line with wonderful facial expressions. The test of a good actor is to get more out of less, she did it .

Tom, to put it as mildly as I can was brilliant. He also has the ability to get more out of less. He ran the gamut from shy suitor, to ardent lover, to confused lover, to angry lover, to happy ending lover. His monalogs explaining and setting up some of the scenes were great. The love scenes were very believable, better than most seen in the regional theater. His short kiss with the old man was unexpected, but tastefully done. It showed his love for his wife who was trapped in the old mans body.

The language in the play was not for young ears, it was street talk, but not over done. The spotlighting as the sets were being changed allowed the play to flow smoothly. As good as this cast was, I believe the directing of Celia Couture was the cement that held the show together. With out a talented director, a super cast can be wasted . The simple sets were effective.

Put these actors in a larger production of this same show, or put it in one of the yuppy theaters they would be gathering rave reviews.

"Prelude to A Kiss" (8 - 17 June)
ARLINGTON FRIENDS OF THE DRAMA
22 Academy Street, ARLINGTON
1(781-646-5922

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