Prelude to a Kiss

As frothy as the head on a Starbucks beverage and twice as sweet

In this comedy, playwright Craig Lucas puts a literal spin on the age-old cliché "He became a completely different person after we were married." The courtship between affable medical publisher Peter and insomniac barmaid Rita passes uneventfully enough in a rose-tinted blur of TV dinners and syrupy pillow talk. But when a toothless old man asks the bride for a peck on the cheek on the couple's wedding day, Peter quickly discovers that the mysterious intruder has done more than steal a kiss from his new wife. S.F. Playhouse's production of this popcorn-munching romantic comedy about the transformative power of love is as frothy as the head on a Starbucks beverage and twice as sweet. Lauren English and Christopher W. Jones make for an endearing central couple; English, in particular, does a superb job of channeling the spirit of a geriatric New Yorker trapped in a young woman's body. Yet for all the fast pace and sensitivity of the direction by Bill English (Lauren's dad), Lucas' insubstantial play feels more like a 1992 movie starring Meg Ryan than a work for the stage.

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