Man and Wife: Lucas Fantasy Prelude to a Kiss Opens on Broadway

By Ernio Hernandez
March 8, 2007

The Broadway revival of Craig Lucas' chimerical drama Prelude to a Kiss officially opens March 8 at the American Airlines Theatre. Annie Parisse and Alan Tudyk star as a married couple whose lives become entangled with an older man (John Mahoney).



Daniel Sullivan (Proof) directs the Roundabout Theater Company's new staging, which began previews Feb. 17. The limited engagement is currently scheduled to run through April 22.

Mahoney plays the Old Man in the story with Parisse and Alan Tudyk as the young couple. James Rebhorn and Robin Bartlett are also featured as Dr. and Mrs. Boyle, respectively.

Prelude to a Kiss follow a young couple's "whirlwind courtship with a storybook wedding," according to production notes. Their love is immediately "put to the test by unknown forces" when a mysterious elderly man kisses the bride at the wedding. The comedy gives way to a bit of fantasy as two characters corporeally change places.

The ensemble cast also includes Francois Battiste, Brandon Dirden, MacIntyre Dixon, Marceline Hugot, Matthew Rauch, John Rothman and Karen Walsh.

The design team features include Santo Loquasto (set), Jane Greenwood (costume), Donald Holder (lighting) and John Gromada (sound and original compositions).

Mahoney — known for his Emmy Award-nominated turn as the patriarch on "Frasier" — won a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in The House of Blue Leaves. Other film work includes "Fathers and Sons," "She's the One," "Primal Fear," "The American President," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Reality Bites," "The Water Engine," "Barton Fink," "Dinner at Eight" and "Say Anything."

Parisse — known for her turn in "Law & Order" — was just seen Off-Broadway in Anne Washburn's The Internationalist and previously in Monster and The Credeaux Canvas. Tudyk — remembered for film stints in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," "28 Days" and "A Knight's Tale" — replaced Hank Azaria during his hiatus in Monty Python's Spamalot. He was also seen onstage in Epic Proportions and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. The duo were both seen in Roundabout's Misalliance.

Bartlett was seen onstage in Yentl, Reckless, Everett Beekin and on screen in "Postcards from the Edge," "Regarding Henry," "Moonstruck" and "Baby Boom." Rebhorn last teamed with Roundabout on Twelve Angry Men and has also played on Broadway in Dinner at Eight, The Man Who Had All the Luck, Our Town and I'm Not Rappaport.

The lead roles of Peter, Rita and Old Man were played in the 1990 Off-Broadway debut by Alec Baldwin, Mary-Louise Parker and Barnard Hughes, respectively.

The work, commissioned by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, made its world premiere there in 1988. Circle Repertory Theatre then presented the run Off Broadway under the direction of Norman René. The production — which also featured Larry Bryggman, John Dossett and Debra Monk — transferred to Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre with Timothy Hutton taking over for Baldwin. Baldwin would return to the role for the 1992 film version (adapted by Lucas and helmed again by René) opposite Meg Ryan and Sydney Walker.

Lucas recently penned the book for the Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza as well as such plays as The Singing Forest, Small Tragedy and an adaptation of Miss Julie. Other works include Reckless, Blue Window, God's Heart and Stranger, among others. In recent years the playwright has taken to directing such productions as Play Yourself, Saved or Destroyed and This Thing of Darkness and made his feature film directing debut with his "The Dying Gaul."

Daniel Sullivan is next slated to direct a forthcoming Broadway run of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. The director recently staged Rabbit Hole, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen and Julius Caesar on Broadway and Stuff Happens Off-Broadway. Other credits include Proof, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Major Barbara and The Heidi Chronicles.

Tickets to Prelude to a Kiss at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or by visiting www.roundabouttheatre.org.