ReAct Presents "Prelude to a Kiss"

By Miyako Nishimura
NW Asian Weekly

"Prelude to a Kiss" is an enchanting fable about the immortality of true love, and portrays the whirlwind courtship of a young couple, Peter and Rita.

Their lives are changed forever when Rita happens to kiss a mysterious, old stranger at their wedding.

After that kiss, the sould of Rita and the stranger switch.

It doesn't take long for husband Peter to figure something is amiss. Peter has a feeling that something is strange with Rita right after their wedding.

Small things become clues. Rita no longer knows how to make a "Long Island iced tea" and that "Dutch phrase" that Peter had taught her.

But this is not just a heart-warming love story of a young couple.

The play also shows us the fear of living and dying which Rita and the old stranger both possess. That shared fear, in fact, was the reason for their souls' switch.

The play continues in various locations, including Rita's apartment, her parents' home, Jamaica, and Peter's office.

"Prelude to a Kiss" by Craig Lucas opened on Broadway in 1990 and received several Tony award nominations including "Best Play."

Lucas, the recipient of numerous drama awards, has also written the screenplay for the movie-version of "Prelude to a Kiss."

This summer, the Seattle's Repertory Actors Workshop (ReAct) is giving an encore presentation of this popular play. "Prelude to a Kiss" is directed by David Hsieh, the founder of ReAct.

ReAct's goal is to give artists the opportunity to work on mainstream projects to which they might not normally have access, due to ethnic or gender background. It strives to provide quality entertainment using non-traditional casting, according to a ReAct spokesman.

David Hsieh and the multicultural cast do good work, transcending common racial stereotyping.

The supporting players around Peter (T.J. Langley), Rita (Colleen Parker) and Old Man (long-time actor E. Dee Torrey) successfully give colorful presentations and astute characterizations.

The ensemble, non-traditionally cast, brings the stage very much to life.

A not-for-profit company, ReAct serves the community by doing frequent benefit performances to raise money and awareness for charitable organizations.

This is a play that anyone can enjoy. A witty romance with depth, set in a mysterious world of immortality.

"Prelude to a Kiss" continues its run at the Theatre Off Jackson in Chinatown until August 27, Wed-Sat at 8 p.m., Sun. at 7 p.m.

You can get $1 off the price of admission with a canned food donation. For more information or ticket reservations, call ReAct at (206) 364-3283.

August 19 - 25, 1995


© 1995 Northwest Asian Weekly. Reprinted with permission by ReAct.

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