Through April 24
STAGE KISS Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company
By Augustine Warner
Anyone who follows the web religiously will find some amazing clickbait, like the personal relationship between actors involved in kissing or sex on stage or on camera.
Certainly, there is a lot of proof that actors can get involved in their spare time and, reportedly, sometimes on camera, although not necessarily just in porn.
Sarah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss” is a look at a rehearsal kiss reviving a long-over relationship between She (Tracie Lane) and He (Guy Balotine).
She’s long out of the business and involved in a rocky marriage and raising a daughter.
He’s still working as a hack actor.
Then, She decides to get back on stage and auditions for a show, a remounting of a bad Thirties show a director (Greg Howze) says he can turn into a success.
When She goes to read for the part, the director needs someone on the other side.
Initially, it’s young aide Kevin (Kevin Craig).
Then, He arrives and the old days are back, after a few stage kisses.
The audition scene involves kissing and this revives their old relationship and they wind up back in it.
When Opening Night turns into the expectable bad panoply of reviews, the two wind up in his daughter’s apartment, where her daughter and Husband surface, as time goes by.
Husband (Rolando Gomez) is amazingly tolerant of what is going on, considering the standard entertainment history of what happens in these situations.
The director approaches the new couple and offers them a chance to work on his new play in a theater in Detroit which tries new work.
Here, the story gets even more tangled, as He and She’s relationship mixes with the production of the director’s play.
“Stage Kiss” director Fortunato Pezzimenti has been around the denizens of the stage for a long time and possibly considered people he has known in directing this look at life backstage.
He has good leads with Lane and Balotine, as well as Gomez and the usual askew character played by Craig.
Paul Bostaph has the credit for set design, always an unusual assignment in the Irish Classical because of the theater design which puts customers very close to the action, while making movement on and off stage tricky and somewhat limiting an elaborate set.
It requires skill to create an effective set telling a story while letting everyone see and hear and that’s accomplished here.
Those in the seats get a real chance to see and hear Ruhl’s look at life, with or without the greasepaint, and that’s why “Stage Kiss” should be on your list.
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