Haven KISS Review – Soap Opera Turns Dark

Haven Kiss Review-- Soap Opera Turns Dark – a Recommended Best Play Pick running until August 18. A group of friends each with their own soap opera dramas.

We look into a small one bedroom apartment sparsely furnished. Though it looks a little rough around the edges, at least it’s clean and well-kept. There’s a two person kitchen table set nicely with a tablecloth, a comfy looking couch, and pictures hang on the wall to make this place a home.

Haven KISS
(left to right) Arti Ishak, Monty Cole, Cassidy Slaughter-Mason and Salar Ardebili
Haven KISS
(left to right) Arti Ishak and Salar Ardebili

A woman steps into this apartment, looking cozy with a cardigan and slippers. She begins washing dishes when we hear the theme song for this evening’s TV program. She grabs the remote and runs over to the couch. We watch as she settles in to watch her favorite soap opera, but what we’re about to see is Haven Theatre’s KISS become a soap opera all its own.

Haven Takes a Soap Opera Style

Every week a group of friends in Damascus gather to watch their beloved soap operas. As each of this woman’s friends arrive, they bring their own plot twists. Paired with dramatic, stilting, and over the top acting, the play becomes like a soap opera itself. Love, heartbreak, betrayal, and every other dramatic plot device you can think of is thrown at our cast.

Wrapping up in just about 45 minutes, the cast finishes with a dramatic flourish and takes their bows. We all turn to look at each other in the audience. Surely this play isn’t over, right?

And it isn't ..but to detail more would be a spoiler, which you won't find on these pages..

Haven KISS
(left to right) Salar Ardebili, Arti Ishak, Monty Cole and Cassidy Slaughter-Mason
Haven KISS
(left to right) Monty Cole and Arti Ishak

Overlooked Messages

As the play goes on, we find there’s much more than first meets the eye. As we find out more details and come to this realization, we see the dark meanings behind each of the character’s lines and motivations.

KISS touches on more than just soap opera level drama – it delves more into the politics of today the struggles these characters represent. It’s with sinking hearts, we realize how little we understand about why this play came into existence and the deeper, more complex reasons behind it.

Call to Action

KISS is a hit you over the head with its message type of play. But perhaps in this day and age, we need it the most as we overlook what’s right in front of us.

This show might not be the best fit if you like to leave politics and world events at the door. However, if you like shows that have a call to action KISS would be a good fit for you.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

Watch this video showing the TOP PICK PLAYS of 2019


Salar Ardebili
Monty Cole
Gloria Imseih Petrelli
Arti Ishak
Sami Ismat
Cassidy Slaughter-Mason


William Boles
Emily Boyd
Kotryna Hilko
Claire Chrzan
Monty Cole
Zach Gipson
Adam Goldstein
Gaby Labotka
Katelyn Le-Thompson
Jeffrey Levin
Liviu Pasare
Marika Mashburn
R&D Choreography
Angela Salinas
Abhi Shrestha
May Truehaft-Ali
Corbin Paulino
Mitch Ward


Now through August 18, 2019
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00p
Sundays ay 3:00p


The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL



Full price tickets can be purchased through the Haven website.

Photos Austin D. Oie

Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago

Alexis Bugajski Photo: Liz Lin

About the Author

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

Share this:
  • 2

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *