Soul-Searching ‘Prelude’ Opens Tonight

The Phnom Penh Players’ production of “Prelude to a Kiss,” which opens tonight, is a comical and bewitching tale of a young married couple’s love for each other.

The contemporary US play centers around Peter and Rita, who have a whirlwind romance and marry within weeks.

But on their honeymoon, Rita begins to act strangely.

She doesn’t eat the skin off her chicken, changes her mind about wanting to have children and forgets that her father is a dentist, not a doctor.

What’s more is that she is finally sleeping—even though she hasn’t slept well since she was a 14-year-old.

Then there’s the kiss by the strange old man at the wedding, who runs off down the street moments later. Both comical and sexy, the play starts to take a surreal twist and Peter wonders what has happened to Rita’s soul.

Rita, played by Flora Stubbs, is a spontaneous and energetic character who frequently switches the subjects of conversation. That is until her personality changes to always being irritable, and never want­ing to take a break. Her husband, Peter, played by Dan Levitt, watches his new bride transform into someone he no longer knows.

All of the play’s performers are expatriates. Lai Thi Dinh, who plays the waitress on Peter and Rita’s honeymoon, moved to Phnom Penh from Vietnam three years ago to study English and work with her aunt.

She has dreamed of being in the movies since she was a little girl, she said.

“Prelude to a Kiss,” written by Craig Lucas, is directed by Susan Nich and produced by Jane Martin. It can be seen at 8 pm today and Saturday and at 3 pm Sunday at the Russian Cultural Center at 113 Norodom Boulevard.

Tickets are $10 for expatriates, and $5 for Cambodians, volunteers with valid identification and children under 16.

Free tickets are available for the first 20 Cambodians each night.

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