Stop Kiss is a Beautiful Show That Pulls at the Heartstrings

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stop-kiss

After becoming a photojournalist for YQG Rocks back in January, it has given me the opportunity to see more plays. Having more of a music background I tend to be drawn to musicals. But I am so glad I have been able to broaden my horizons by seeing plays. If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have seen how brilliant Stop Kiss is!

Stop Kiss is part of Post Productions second season of shows. The company has brought quality plays to Windsor and they’ve never disappointed. I was blown away by their show “Doubt” that was put on in February, but after seeing Stop Kiss it makes me even more excited to see what Post will bring to the local theatre community this season and the ones to follow.

Stop Kiss is written by Diana Son. It tells the story of Callie who lives in New York City as a traffic reporter. Callie opens her home to a friend of a friend named Sara who recently moved to NYC taking on a teaching job in the Bronx. Callie, kindly takes in Sara’s cat, Caesar, temporarily until she gets settled into her apartment. Callie, not knowing anything about Sara is certain she is going to be a dud, but after meeting and a number of get-togethers, Callie begins to realize there may be something more than just a friendship.

Throughout Stop Kiss follow the relationship between Callie and Sara. You learn about their jobs, ex-boyfriends and friends. Together they go on a journey on a realization of their sexuality. Though their relationship may seem perfect, to others it isn’t. Unfortunately, there are many people who still do not support the LGBT community. Callie and Sara find themselves in a horrible situation that leaves one injured and one hospitalized.

When I spoke to directors Michael Potter and Michael O’Reilly when they were casting for the show, they said that the girls who play Callie and Sara had to have a connection or the show will not work. Potter and O’Reilly’s pick for the leading ladies was an absolutely phenomenal choice. Fay Lynn (Callie) and Lauren Crowley (Sara) had chemistry that was so believable. It didn’t even feel like I was watching a play, more like I was sitting in the middle of two friends having a conversation.

Every moment, they spoke to each other, whether it was anger, fear, love, was truly captured and I felt every second of it. Fay is known for performing in plays at Korda Artistic Productions as well as Post. She’s always a joy to watch as she connects so well with any character she is given.

This was my first time seeing Lauren in a play, as she is also from a musical background. I do hope to see Lauren continue on doing both plays and musicals as she is a very talented actress and a natural on stage.

There was a scene in particular in Act 1 between Callie and Sara that contained no dialogue but spoke so much. Having two actresses with the ability to speak to the audience with no words is incredible.

All of the actors in Stop Kiss deserve to be praised. Dan MacDonald played the role of George, Callie’s best friend and occasional fling. His character added a comedic aspect to the show, while also showing a kind and compassionate person when Callie needs him the most. Alex Alejandria (Detective Cole), Cindy Pastorius (Mrs. Winsley) and Matt Froese (Peter) were smaller roles but very pivotal moments to the storyline when they were on stage.

Even though it is a play, they did have music while the audience was being seated and between scenes that was created by local artist Flower Face. A very modern indie vibe with personal lyrics that certainly set the tone for the show.

From the acting, directing and quick set changes, Stop Kiss is the one to see. A truly beautiful show that definitely made me laugh while pulling at my heartstrings. If I had to categorize Stop Kiss, I would call it a tragic-romantic-comedy.

Directors Potter and O’Reilly definitely had a vision for Stop Kiss and it showed. Congratulations on a job well done by everyone.

Stop Kiss has one more weekend of performances from May 24 to 26 at The Shadowbox Theatre (1501 Howard Avenue). Tickets are available online.

Stop Kiss Cast:
Fay Lynn as Callie
Lauren Crowley as Sara
Dan MacDonald as George
Matt Froese as Peter
Alex Alejandria as Detective Cole
Cindy Pastorius as Mrs. Winsley/Nurse

Crew:
Michael Potter and Michael O’Reilly – Directors
Michael Potter, Michael O’Reilly and Fay Lynn – Producers
Sadie Alejandria and Julia Pastorius – Stage Managers
Matthew Burgess – Set Design
Rob Burgess and Matthew Burgess – Set Building and Painting
Michael Potter – Lighting and Sound Design
Jacques Scheepers Photography – Promotional Photos
Kris Simic – Poster and Program Design
Original Music by Flower Face

stop-kiss

Photography by: Jen Gurniak