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PRELUDE TO A KISS Allendale Theatre/Bellissima Productions
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Mar 20, 2024, 14:54
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Through March 24
PRELUDE TO A KISS Allendale Theatre/Bellissima Productions

The plot gimmick in Craig Lucas’ “Prelude to a Kiss” is one used in many movies, plays and TV shows.
It still works.
Lucas used it effectively here, meaning it’s pretty much the end of the show before an audience member understands what happened and why the flow of the show is what it is.
It’s a “meet cute” situation when Peter (Kevin Deese) and Rita (Colleen Pine) get deeply involved immediately.
Fairly soon, there is a big wedding paid for by Rita’s rich doctor father.
This is where the tale becomes twisted, Old Man (Brendan Cunningham) becomes involved in the wedding party and finally kisses her.
Within days, Rita is back at her parents’ home in New Jersey, complaining about spousal abuse.
Peter falls apart and finally falls in with Old Man and feels connections, even a tentative kiss.
When Peter and Rita are put back in the same room and they kiss, suddenly they are back in love.
It’s that dramatic plot of trading personalities, here twice.
Think of how many times it has been used and how effectively that transfer makes a story work.
Of course, Lucas waits until late in this fairly short play to make the events more clear.
This is a play kinda small for the vast stage of the Allendale and that sometimes shows in the audibility of the cast.
Director Bella Poynton has a cast with some strengths, Cunningham and Deese, and some weak spots.
She does have an effective set with quick changes to keep the play moving along.
It’s nice to see the Allendale getting more use, in the evening with a TOY set under construction on stage.
Allentown being Allentown, viewers can eat and drink before and after this show and that’s a nice mix with a reasonably well-done production of “Prelude to a Kiss.”

A.W.

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