A new romantic comedy opened March 7, Off-Broadway at The Creative Place Theatre in midtown Manhattan. To the background of modern rock music, It Begins With A Kiss shows a "hip, contemporary couple through three stages of their relationship: The First Kiss ("Dying To Kiss You"), True Uncompromising Commitment ("Dance For Me, Sweetheart"), and co-habitation ("Superior Smoke"). The full-length comedy was adapted from a workshop of three one-acts in 1996. Sammy Busby is the author and director, and also co-stars in this two-hander, along with Marilyn Torres.
It Begins With A Kiss is the first production by a new theatre company, Madeline Ann, formed by 16 students of NY's HB Studios acting school. Hagen is quoted on the play's stagebill ("Rebellion or revolt does not necessarily find its expression in violence. A gentle, lyric stroke may be just as powerful a means of expression"), as is Malcolm X: "You don't need any switchblade. All you need is the truth." The company is named after Busby's mother.
Busby had a steady career in the mid 1980 but gave it up to pursue his artistic goals. Back in 1991, songwriter Busby told the Mobile Press Register he would stay in New York until he "runs out of money or is no longer happy," but that doesn't mean "he'll give up his dream of artistic success."
For tickets ($12) and information on Kiss, please call (212) 332 9833.
--By David Lefkowitz