Friday, April 20, 2018

Play a Day: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Stuart Hoffman
For Friday I read Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Stuart Hoffman, and available at New Play Exchange.

I've been working really hard to get more Cleveland playwrights onto NPX, welcome to the crew, Stu! (No one calls him Stu.)

We grew up loving movies. It was a movie household. The folks would take us to see "foreign" films at art houses and on college campuses. My brother wrote reviews for the high school paper, we watched Siskel & Ebert when they were still on PBS. If you couldn't play Movie-Star-Movie, we couldn't be friends.

I thought I knew a thing or two before I took a summer course in film criticism at college. Jesus, what I didn't know. We saw not only La Strada (1954) and Seventh Seal (1957), but also Milos Forman's first English language film, Taking Off (1971) and the completely bizarre pseudosex-documentary WR: Mysteries of the Organism (also 1971). What did that lone horse wandering down the street mean? WHAT DID THE HORSE MEAN?

Thanks to cable, I watched movies all the time when I was a teenager. I saw Lolita (1962) when I was twelve, which is a complicated thing to say. My education in the Vietnam War began with Apocalypse Now (1979). And I believe Scavenger Hunt (also 1979) is a misunderstood comic masterpiece.

My ex-wife hated black and white movies. So, there you are.

Hoffman's script is sweetly smart romantic comedy (should I say "rom-com"?) pitting a slasher movie fan and host of a radio talk show against a film studies professor. It deals with what movies mean to people, and why some folks obsess about discussing and debating them. They discuss symbolism and sentiment, and how we talk about movies to share secret knowledge and express secret feelings.

It's really fun, with two complex and interesting leads, a play which deceptively explores and explodes storytelling tropes with wit and wisdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment