Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
The History of Kisses
Also see Susan's review of Opus
David Cale performs monologues, but his newest work, The History of Kisses, allows the solo performer (also playwright and director) to slip into and out of several different characters, and he even gets to singand he's enjoyable company. Washington's Studio Theatre, where Cale has performed three previous works, is hosting the world premiere of this one.
Cale doesn't say much that is new, but he shares his stories with joy and conviction. The common element is that all his stories relate to love and desire, and most of them take place in and around the sea. Scenic designer Luciana Stecconi has created a simple, evocative set out of one beach chair and a sand-covered floor.
The primary character of Cale's solo play is writing a series of overlapping tales of erotic experiences, inspired by a photo he found of a man and woman kissing passionately while standing on a boat deck. He sits in his beach-front motel room in southern California, listening to his neighbors: on one side, a British sailor performing his original sea shanties; on the other, the strapping Australian desk clerk who gives his personal attentions to selected woman guests.
In the world of Cale's imagination, a woman's solo trip to Portugal has consequences she could never have foreseen; a man meets the wrong person when he sets out to make contact with an online dateor is it the right person?; two strangers discover a connection during a transcontinental flight; and a man tells the secret he shared with a now-deceased entertainment icon.