100 First Kisses is a sweet and charming story that takes place inside a girl’s imagination. Should you see it?
In 100 First Kisses, a young girl decides to write an essay on her first kiss. But she has a major problem. She’s never been kissed before. So she decides to make stuff up. She comes up with all kinds of scenarios where a boy and girl meet, flirt, date and, eventually, kiss. And as she writes, her thoughts are performed for the audience. The show focuses on the themes of romance, specifically how we build up moments in our head to be grander than they are. The acting and staging is good, but the main draw of the show is the concept.
The show is mainly comprised of comedy, as the scenes that play out are usually goofy and awkward. In one such instance, they implement variations of the old yawn-and-put-your-arm-around-the-shoulder for laughs. Since most of the scenes are represented as the writings of the main character, whenever a scene goes wrong, she erases it and the scene rewinds. It’s one of the show’s primary gags and it is funny, but it is used very frequently with little variation and starts to lose its impact. Another scene that I liked was near the end of the play, where we see one of the fantasies play out similarly to a real event earlier in the play. More scenes like that could have fleshed story out. As it stands, 100 First Kisses is a decent show, with a good dose of comedy and charm to earn it a three.
Allan’s (slightly late) followup:
When asked to write a thousand words on a “first” for school, a young girl decides to write about her first kiss. Of course, she hasn’t yet had her first kiss so she cycles through a series of imagined first kisses trying to write one she likes. The story is told with the main character at her desk and the characters in her writing acted out by other actors. When she erases what she wrote for not liking it, the actors rewind to the part where she picks up again. When she feels she’s on the totally wrong track, she scraps the page and starts an entirely new scene.
It’s cutesey and light and charming but there isn’t a lot of substance, not that their needs to be – it’s like a root beer float. The allure of the piece comes from the audience relating to many of the scenarios, like going to the movies. There’s a lot of rewinding, which from a story point of view gets a touch tired, but made the audience laugh as they swallowed back their lines and reversed their actions.
The imagined scenes are enveloped by a b-plot between the main character and her best friend, which is the cutesy part that ties everything together. It’s kind of like a chick flick for the stage and great for date night. Light and fun and three.
– by Allan Mackey
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