Guillermo CalderÃ³nâ€™s Kiss is an ambitious, but unsuccessful attempt to bring the horrors of violence in todayâ€™s Syria into the American living room. A supposedly found text, a fluffy four-handed love triangle, is first interpreted as melodramatic soap opera, and then with cartoonish, expressionist violence.
Good theater takes real, specific events and reimagines them so that universals can be revealed. In this work, CalderÃ³nâ€™s imagination fails him.
The play is presented not in Woollyâ€™s auditorium but in its Smith/Melton Rehearsal Hall, with seats wedged in on risers. Viewers nostalgic for Woollyâ€™s funky former space on Church Street will feel at home here.
- Kiss, by Guillermo CalderÃ³n, directed by Yury Urnov, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington