“Although they are realistic in character detail and plot, Craig Lucas’s fable-like plays almost always depend on the formal magic of inventive artifice and the forceful complications of dark fairy tales.
In his best-known play, Prelude to a Kiss, which he has adapted into a Hollywood film starring Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin, a young couple, Rita and Peter, meet, fall in love and marry. At the wedding reception, a strange old man kisses Rita, and they switch souls. The man’s personality enters Rita’s body, and her personality moves into his body. Prelude to a Kiss, which premiered in 1990 at the height of the AIDS Crisis, fancifully deals with the sudden and unexpected onslaught of disease and the proximity of death. It is often read as an AIDS allegory. Like Prelude to a Kiss, Lucas’s screenplay to the film Longtime Companion (one of the first Hollywood films to depict gay characters in the main roles and to acknowledge the AIDS crisis in the 1980s) also centers on a kiss. One of its characters is a writer for a soap opera, and he writes a scene with a gay kiss, which is seen by a host of gay male characters and one straight woman, whose number slowly dwindles as the AIDS epidemic rages on and the plot depicts a single day for each year of the 1980s…” more
SOURCE: Critical Stages/Scènes critiques
Prelude to a Kiss | June 07-22, 2019