Prelude to a Kiss
Empathy. The ability to put yourself in another person's shoes, to imagine what it would be like to look out at the world through another person's eyes. Most of us have no gift for it -- although that doesn't keep us from believing other people should spend a lot more time thinking about how it feels to be us.
"Prelude to a Kiss" is a play about two people who accidentally put themselves into each other's bodies and souls, and although it could probably do more with its story, what it does is gentle and moving. The play is fairly hard to categorize, which is one of its strengths.
The play opens with love at first sight, between a guy who works at a Chicago publishing company (John Gripka) and a woman who tends bar (Julie Atchley). They smile and their eyes light up, and in an astonishingly short time they know they must be married to one another.
At the wedding, a strange thing happens, an old man appears, who nobody seems to know, and he wishes the young couple well, and kisses the bride on the lips. And then . . .
But we know who the old man is. His name is Julius (Bryan Miller), and he lives in Berwyn with his daughter and son-in-law, and after his wife died he just sort of vegetated. On this day he got up, walked to the train station, and took the next train, which happened to be going to Lake Forest.
And he walked into the wedding and kissed the bride.
On his honeymoon, Peter begins to realize something has gone wrong. His bride looks the same, but she isn't the same. There are subtle clues in her behavior. Things she wouldn't ordinarily
say. Eventually Peter realizes that someone else is inside her. She is not the woman he married.
It's the setup for some unusually thoughtful stage dialogue, and a final scene of genuine emotional power. "Prelude to a Kiss" is the kind of play that can inspire long conversations about the only subject really worth talking about, the Meaning of It All.
Where: Live at the Lyric Theatre
When: April 29th, 30th and May 1st,2nd@ 7pm. May 3rd @ 2pm
General Admission: $10 and $5 for students with ID.
ADULT THEMES AND LANGUAGE