Monday, March 3, 2014

Stage Kiss @ The Playwrights Horizons/Mainstage Theater

 Ever wondered at the chemistry onstage between scene partners? How two people who, perhaps, had never met, or were old lovers, or even interested in different genders than their characters are, could make an audience believe in the power of love through a kiss? Aptly named, Stage Kiss, the new play from Sarah Ruhl, brings the audience behind the scenes in this touching, life comedy of an actress thrust, literally, into the arms of an old lover when they are unknowingly cast in the 1930s melodrama and the consequences of their "showmance."

   She(Jessica Hecht) is an actress come out of retirement. Hecht, who was nominated for a Tony for her performance in A View From Here, continues to deliver. Equal parts narcissistic and compassionate, naive and wise, flighty and yet grounded, she pulls the audience in immediately with her nervous ticks and ethereal speech patterns. He(Nurse Jackie's Dominic Fumusa) is a "still struggling" actor and the ex lover of twenty years. Domineering and passionate, Fumusa is the perfect sensitive bad boy until you realize, he's just an overgrown child, a seamless transition that was effortless to experience. Their chemistry is so real, you find yourself drawn in to their romance even as you are left gasping for breath at the dialogue they are being forced to perform in the awful play they were cast in. 

   Helping them along is an ensemble full of rich, comedic characters that fill out the storyline. The amount of talent on the Mainstage Theatre stage was breathtaking. Featuring the talents of Todd AlmondClea AlsipMichael Cyril CreightonDominic FumusaEmma GalvinDaniel Jenkins,

Patrick Kerr. Todd Almond's original score accompanies the well written script creating a perfectly molded theatric experience. 

 Superbly directed by Rachel Taichman, crew includes Scenic Design  by Neil Patel, Costume Design  Susan Hilferty, Lighting Design  Peter Kaczorowski, Sound Design  Matt Hubbs, Hair & Wig Design  Tom Watson, Choreography  Sam Pinkleton, Production Stage Manager  Cole P. Bonenberger. 

   Stage Kiss is running through March 23rd. Buy your tickets immediately!

Review By: Aziza Seven

Photos By: Joan Marcus

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