Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kiss of the Body Snatcher

"Prelude to a Kiss" presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre, February 25, 2007

Craig Lucas' play debuted on Broadway in 1990 with Mary Louise Parker, Timothy Hutton, and Barnard Hughes and has been revived by the Roundabout. It's not a bad play, but having seen it, I'm not sure why RTC found it necessary to revive it. (Spoiler Alert)

Peter and Rita meet at a party - fall in love and marry in 6 weeks' time. At the wedding, an old man shows up (whom no one knows, or questions for that matter), kisses the bride and swaps bodies. Confusion, frustration, questions of what love is really based on all get addressed and there's a happy ending.

Peter is played by the very attractive Alan Tudyk. Why is it that his scenework sounds like narrative and his direct addresses sound like scenes? Annie Parisse takes on the role of Riat, originated by Mary Louise Parker. She has a grand time as the old man, but I never got a sense of the kind of quirky, off-center, bohemian that Rita is. I also never got a sense of the "I-can't-live-without-you" between Ms. Parisse and Mr. Tudyk. John Mahoney as the old man has little to do in the first act. By the time he gets to work for us, he's basically working on his own, pulling the rest of the cast along with him. I got a much stronger sense of Peter's love for Rita, when she was in the old man's body than before or after.

Santo Loquasto's deep blue set functions well and Donlad Holder's lighting accents nicely.

Director Daniel Sullivan appears to have phoned this one in. I didn't see the nurturing and guiding hand that shaped "Rabbit Hole" anywhere.


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Great blog! Just sorry that the pre-buzz around Prelude To A Kiss isn't so good. I think Lucas is a brilliant and compelling writer, but it sounds like Daniel Sullivan's direction just isn't measuring up...yet. Do you think it can still be salvaged prior to opening night?

BTW, I enjoyed perusing through your blog so much that I've added it to my list of faves. Look forward to many happy returns!

Cameron said...

Just a minor correction: Alec Baldwin didn't play Peter on Broadway; Timothy Hutton did. Baldwin was in the original off-Broadway production and the movie, but never a member of the Broadway company.

Mondschein said...

Thanks for the correction, Cameron.

Cameron said...

No problem! You run a very nice blog.