We’ve all had moments of coming to terms with ourselves—discovering who we are, who we love, what we’re willing to do for other people. However, for some, this discovery may come with challenges and prejudices. For two women living in New York in the 90s, coming out leads to a life threatening situation in STOP KISS.
Pride Films and Plays Brings Us Back
There is no ambiguity here when it comes to deciphering what year we’re in. STOP KISS is set right in the 90s— complete with landline phone, wardrobe choices, and the pop/slow jam soundtrack.
Most of all, there is the hesitancy of coming out that one might have felt during that time. For our two main characters, Callie and Sara, their relationship begins as a developing friendship. Sara, played by Kylie Anderson, just moved from St. Louis. Through a friend of a friend, she ends up asking Callie, played by Flavia Pallozzi, to catsit. As they slowly get to know each other, they realize they both might be feeling something more.
Love Can Be Dangerous
STOP KISS is a balancing act of both dark and tender moments. Right from the very beginning, we find out the two eventually act on their feelings and share a kiss. However, someone who witnesses their kiss becomes outraged, and acts out violently against them, leaving Callie injured and Sara in a coma.
Now, we move forward, alternating between scenes from the hospital as Sara lies in a coma, and the scenes between Callie and Sara as they continue exploring their relationship with each other.
For this writer though, the build up to the climactic moment wasn’t there. Though we already know from the beginning they eventually end up with a kiss, it didn’t feel like there was chemistry, or emotional tension between Anderson and Pallozzi, that builds toward this life changing kiss. We don't feel l like this is a love worth fighting for.
STOP KISS is a story of two women trying to figure out who they are, and what this other person means to them. If you’re one whose looking for more modern works, you don’t have to put this show on the top of your must-see list, since it might feel dated. However, if you’re one who likes a play about relationships, and discovering who you are, this might be a great fit for you.
By Diana Son
Directed by Kanomé Jones
Co-Production with The Arc Theatre
Kylie Anderson (Sara), Joe Faifer (Peter/Detective Cole), Sheila Landahl (Mrs.Winsley/Nurse), Flavia Pallozzi (Callie), and Shane Novoa Rhoades (George).
Jessica Baldinger (Set Designer), Jennifer Mohr (Costume Designer), Mike McShane (Lighting/Sound Designer), Gaby Labotka (Intimacy Director), Kimberly Logan (Assistant Director), Shannon Metts (Production Assistant), Carinne Uslar (Stage Manager), and Natalie Sallee (Producer).
Through February 9, 2020
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm,
Sundays at 5 pm,
Mondays January 27 and February 3 at 7:30 pm
Pride Arts Center
4147 N. Broadway, Chicago
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