Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review: Flashes of Love

Love. We all experience it. But why? In Dan Giles’ How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed, the relationship between a boy and a girl is explored in the simplest of ways. Presented at Spectrum, Giles offers flashes of love. Avoiding any production value, Giles, who serves as director as well, displays a series of short scenes showcasing everything from first date to rekindling between merely named X and Y. How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed is an interesting piece. Whether the constraints of the space prevented the piece from doing anything extraordinary or if it was Giles intent, How You Kiss Me Is Now How I Like To Be Kissed is a play that focuses on the text and the intricacies of words. Giles poetic language is purposeful. X and Y use words and phrases specifically. And for that, Giles script is interesting. But from a overall production standpoint, How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed offers nothing truly new. Giles’ approach appeared similar to how Mike Bartlett’s Cock was staged. Rather than incorporate specific blocking, the text was given over to a series of movement and acting exercises. Unlike Cock, How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed doesn’t have an interesting conflict arise. X and Y break up for a very generic reason.
This play relies heavily on chemistry. You must love X and you must love Y but you also must love X and Y together. As X and Y respectively, Olivia Lemmon and Jacob Brandt had their moments but as an overall scope, there was very little dynamic. Lemmon not only seemed to out perform Brandt, but she had life. As X, Lemmon is beautifully delicate. She has a subtle fascination in her performance. She lights up the room with her eyes. As Y, it took until his mesmerizing rendition of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” for Brandt to bring emotion. Brandt has a subtly to his performance as well, but it’s more internal and less stimulating to watch.
How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed had some amazing moments but as a whole, it didn’t stand out. Whether it was the lack of playing space or the vision, How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed was lacking the spark.

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