Preluse to a Kiss

Forget the overly saccharine Hollywood adaptation of Prelude to a Kiss (they gave it the Meg Ryan treatment—enough said), the original 1988 play written by Craig Lucas is far deeper than the gimmicky soul-switching it's centered around. On Peter and Rita's wedding day, an old man asks to give the bride a kiss—upon doing so, their souls switch bodies. The groom doesn't realize it until the honeymoon (awkward!) and must find a way to break the spell before the love for his wife fades, now that she's in an old, wrinkled body. A comedic tale of romantic mishaps, maybe, but most think the story is actually about the AIDS epidemic wreaking havoc among the gay community, seeing many young, healthy men deteriorate. Can love conquer the unfortunate physical changes we sometimes face? Catch Prelude to a Kiss at the Maverick Theater, its 2012 season opener, as the play comes back to its birthplace of Orange County.

Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 13. Continues through Feb. 18, 2012

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