Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
Prelude to a Kiss
So you fall in love, finally, and time suddenly speeds up, really speeds up so whirlwind you're engaged and married in a jiff. Then at your wedding this old dude, like a modern Ancient Mariner, shows up, asks to kiss the bride, and -- WHAT THE?? Everything's different. But look: you said those vows about in sickness and in health, right? And you vowed you'd love your mate after age has taken its toll on the teeth, the hair, and the brain. And you've heard that, once married, people can become someone else entirely, right? But this different? Craig Lucas turns truisms into fantasy in his mystical-wise comedy about the absolute promise of "for better or worse" getting put to a severe test - and, at the same time, about someone facing last things and yearning for a reprieve. New Village Arts, under Delicia Turner Sonnenberg's gifted direction, offers a spare, often delightful staging of the piece. Backed by Esther Emery's scenic design, metallic curlicues, like stems of plants that reconfigure into ocotillo-like question marks or the shape of a heart, the production grows from the special chemistry between Joshua Everett Johnson and Kristianne Kurner. They play Peter and Rita, lovers-marrieds-separates, and give them, in the play's two acts, just about every conceivable emotion (in a comedy, mind you). Their tandem work's as inspired as their characters' relationship is splooey. The supporting casts's a mite uneven, but the principals carry the torch, literally and figuratively.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, May 18, 2008
- Sundays, 2pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 3pm & 8pm