A madcap, slapstick romp from start to finish, Kissinup to Mr. Bliss reveals what can happen when visions of motion picture glory overcome people’s sense of normalcy. The rambunctious farce contains fine performances and also moments of lunacy.
Part of Write Act Repertory’s Women’s Summer Playwright’s Lab, Susan C. Hunter’s Kissinup to Mr. Bliss tells the story of two teenboy cousins (Aaron Stall, Michael Aghasaryan) vying for the same role in a hot director’s gritty new movie and the havoc it wreaks in the battling family when one of them gets the part. It blends normal family drama and dreams of grandeur into hilarious, wicked comedy (though a touch over the top) profane and bloated at times.
Director Michael Eiden keeps things running, revving the engine from the beginning and never letting up. He moves the story along with physical comedy and high tempo, employing teenage energy and testosterone to positive use. Actors play off each other with great timing and chemistry, sometimes too physically.
Jeffrey Paul Morgan brings vivid expressiveness to his part of Uncle Bruce, employing his body, hands and face to really sell the humor. Stall and Aghasaryan make an excellent team of loving but competitive cousins, animated and goofy. David Scott Carroll brings understated charm to the role of Stuart, while Kathryn L. Hunter’s sly, deadpan Gammy sets up punchlines.
Kissinup to Mr. Bliss blends good performances and nonstop action in a hilarious tale of movies, mischief and mayhem.
Write Act Repertory Theatre’s “Kissinup to Mr. Bliss,” as part of its “Madness, Mayhem and Other Mood Stimulants…When Women Write! Series,” plays Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16, at 8pm and Sunday, September 17 at 2pm at the Brickhouse Theatre located at 10950 Peach Grove St. in North Hollywood, just off Vineland Ave. Tickets are $15 for one event or $30 for a full festival pass. Purchase tickets at BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3070482 or by calling (800) 838-3006. Find information at Facebook.com/writeactrepertory.