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  Kiss Reviews
Kiss
Kiss

Kiss
Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre
Thru - Aug 18, 2019

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Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Calderón takes welcome risks with act two that are often not seen in theater, yet it comes across as an awkward attempt at deconstruction. Tonal shifts are messy, leaving one to wonder if Kiss is a farce or sincere. In the final act the impact is lost, undercutting the heavy realities of Syrian life introduced previously, offering nothing new, and returning to the tone of act one. The lobby displays educational material on contemporary Syria, including the popularity of soap operas that are often politically subversive, yet the play itself falls short of moving audiences to action."
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Josh Flanders



Around The Town Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...They are concluding their 2018-2019 season with a “Chicago Premiere” entitled “KISS” that is more of a bold theatrical experience than an evening of pure entertainment. Directed by Monty Cole who also plays one of the four main characters, this work, written by Guillermo Calderon, takes us Damascus circa 2014. From what we learn, not a pleasant place to be back then. This one started off fun, but later I questioned the choice of both the playwright and the director. I would love t hear back from you on your opinions."
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Alan Bresloff



Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...Guillermo Calderon's play isn't perfect, but there's more to it than meets the eye. The playwright does indeed take chances, as does Haven, which is what good art is often about. Calderon presents the idea that different cultures sometimes misinterpret each other, especially in their artwork. Without the appropriate understanding of a country, its people, their culture, historical events and even the slang, important ideas can get lost in the translation. The final scene of this play is a little frustrating, and thus the play doesn't end with a bang. But everything that leads up to the end is riveting, well-acted and deserving of the thunderous applause this company earned opening night."
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Colin Douglas



Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Cole and Salar Ardebili perform very well as Ahmed and Youssif and the actor who plays Hadeel is excellent and full of dramatic energy. Unfortunately, the Haven program doesn't include headshots or identify characters by name, so I don't know which of the female actors to praise for their performances as Hadeel or Bana. (Two more actors that are not identified-a man and a woman-perform in another section of the play.)"
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Nancy Bishop



Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...This strong, enthusiastic ensemble (which also includes Gloria Imseih Petrelli and Sami Ismat) seeks to remedy that through Guillermo Calderón's complicated script. It isn't fully successful, though, partly because it goes on too long: the last hour of the 90-minute piece often feels repetitive. Points are made and then remade; monologues and scenes feel forced and artificial, even when delivered by these earnest actors. Though the last moment is truly heartfelt, the play could come to an end half a dozen times before it does (honestly, I felt as if I were watching The Return of the King or some similar production that doesn't know how to bring itself to a close). This show is a sincere, thoughtful endeavor, and Calderón's idea is worthy, but the intentionally self-interruptive format utterly confuses and disengages the audience just when it needs us to feel it the most. "
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Karen Topham



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...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."
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Alexis Bugajski