Sarah Ruhl is the recipient of this year’s Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust will announce Monday. The prize includes a $200,000 cash award and is one of the largest of its kind in the theater.Sarah Ruhl Wins Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award —The Wall Street Journal
"Ruhl at her wackiest! A cause for rejoicing! It's a rare opportunity to experience a cast (and audience) so obviously enjoying themselves!"Lips Together, Teeth Apart —Jack Craib, South Shore Critic
"Make no mistake, this play is very funny. Ms Oliva as She is a positive riot...Mr. McGarrahan as Schwalbach is the perfect straight man. His timing is excellent as he knows just when to deliver a line of a look to allow the lines to sink in. Mr. Hisamoto almost steals this production."Kisses and Laughter Aplenty At The Lyric —Bobby Franklin, Boston Gazette / Boxing Over Broadway
"Director Courtney O’Connor has assembled a very good cast and design team, who seem to have identified and capitalized on every detail and nuance of Ruhl’s edgy, multi-layered script.""Stage Kiss" - The Stages of Romance —Helen Epstein, Artsfuse
"Platt makes it look easy playing an actor with a healthy dose of ego, peppered with insecurity, and shows vulnerability when 'He' admits his longing for 'She.'"Mwah! Love and Kisses to STAGE KISS —Nancy Grossman, Broadway World
"Oliva's comedy chops are fully on display in this role, distinguishing who 'She' is from the opening audition scene, and nailing every bit of the physical comedy with perfect timing. She has shown great range on numerous Boston stages, but this performance has to rank among her best."
"Scenic designer Matt Whiton is tasked with creating three sets: a bare theater space for audition and rehearsals, a stage set for the melodrama, and a contemporary, messy East Village apartment. Chris Hudacs lights each area appropriately, including bringing the lights down and back up for the staging of the play-within-the-play."
"An ensemble cast of seven slides easily in and out of the world of the play and the play-within-a-play, inviting the audience to share in the make believe."
"Theresa Nguyen adroitly becomes the Maid, Millie, and Angela, the daughter, with appropriate sassiness and subterfuge"Stage Kiss: A Confection of Love and Laughter —Richard Campbell, South Boston Online
"Michael Hisamoto as Kevin, Butler, Doctor and Pimp, adds punch to the quirky sub plots, with comic slapstick and oblivious nerdy quality that gives many moments of over the top laughs"
"When the time comes for She’s Husband, played by Craig Mathers, to put the kibosh on the stage affair, his dour sincerity punctuates the one truly romantic moment in the script that has women’s hearts fluttering across the audience"
"Playwright Sarah Ruhl blends slapstick, parody, and a brilliant talent for one liners into a riotous comedy that works great for those who have worked in the theater – and just as well for those who just enjoy watching it."Lyric’s ‘Stage Kiss’ A Comic Gem —Mike Hoban, The Theater Mirror
"Director Courtney O’Connor manages the breakneck pace beautifully, and gets strong performances from the entire cast, including Gillian Mackay-Smith, Craig Mathers and Theresa Nguyen in dual roles"
"The play’s gathering of artifice is neatly mirrored by a first-act set (the design is by Matt Whiton) that balloons from empty space with grubby rehearsal table to full, two-dimensional period splendor."At Lyric Stage, Sarah Ruhl’s ‘Stage Kiss’ Sends A Satiric Smooch To Theater — Carolyn Clay, WBUR The ARTery
"Arshan Gailus’s enhancing sound design alternates between melodic, tinkling bells and some het-up percussion. And costume designer Amanda Mujica’s creations include a set of “pimp” duds for the IRA play, sported with a near-panicky mix of awkwardness and bewilderment by Michael Hisamoto, that are worth the price of admission."
"Will McGarrahan — as the pair’s optimistic, inscrutable director, abetted by Hisamoto’s game if incompetent amanuensis — ably balances satire with credibility."
"Oliva and Platt are provided here a showcase of their craft. The piece could easily lie inert if not for these actors’ firecracker chemistry."Firecracker chemistry makes 'Stage Kiss' stand out —Jeremy Goodwin, The Boston Globe
Another chief asset is Michael Hisamoto as Kevin, an all-purpose understudy. Kevin’s presence in various roles becomes a running joke — particularly when a scene calls for his very awkward kissing skills.
"An agreeable romp with ample laughs and just enough winks toward something deeper"
"Michael Hisamoto in a variety of roles is beyond hilarious in each part, but especially when understudying the leading man; his repeated attempts to kiss the leading lady find his technique somewhere between that of a snow plow and a blowfish."Stage Kiss Review —Joyce Kulhawik, Joyce's Choices
"Director Courtney O’Connor expertly winds this uniformly fine cast up and lets them go."
"Matt Whiton's scenic design is limited to furniture pieces and an old-fashioned backdrop in the first act, but he shows his fine attention to detail in his rendering of He's dingy New York apartment. There are some fun costume pieces, particularly for each of the plays, by Amanda Mujica (those feathers!), and Chris Hudacs' lighting design is wonderfully detailed. Brandon G. Green's fight choreography also deserves recognition, not only for how real it looks, but for how funny it often is."Is a kiss ever just a kiss? —Christopher Ehlers, TheaterMania
"The play is light, fun and makes you think of actors who have never kissed before as well as those who have done quite a bit of kissing with each other. Whichever one, the play makes you think they are never quite sure how to handle it."Was that really just a 'Stage Kiss'? —David Brooks Andrews, Daily News Correspondent, Harwich WickedLocal
"Delightful!"Lyric Stage Company of Boston Presents A Delightful Production of "Stage Kiss" by Sarah Ruhl —Al Chase, The White Rhino Report
"...beautifully written and extraordinarily well executed..."
"Make the effort to see this show. You will not regret it."
Lyric Stage favorite and star of Stage Kiss Will McGarrahan talks about preparation for the production!A Chat with Will McGarrahan —DigBoston
“Can you seriously imagine going in for a job, and part of your interview is kissing someone you’ve never met?” Oliva laughs.'Stage Kiss' explores the awkwardness of being an actor —Metro Boston
I think it’s very difficult to kiss someone you don’t even know, let alone someone you had a relationship with, and keep that line from blurring into reality. By kissing, you become more intimate. “Stage Kiss” talks about those relationships within a play, and how you negotiate those in real life.
Killian Melloy sits down for an interview with Stage Kiss star Celeste Oliva.Ruhl, Stagecraft. and Wheels Within Wheels :: Celeste Oliva on 'Stage Kiss' —Killian Melloy, Edge Boston