Stop Kiss | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Diana Son's 1998 play about two nominally straight New York women beaten up by a homophobic stranger the night they first kiss feels dated, not daring. The playwright pretends to address weighty issues like love and identity and bigotry, but the story's really about nothing but a tragic accident. As directed by Mark Pracht, the cast in this Brown Couch Theatre Company staging does fairly well. Especially good are Katie Ayers as a sweet Saint Louis transplant with a believably sassy core and Frank Murphy, who brings humanity to the ridiculous part of a West Village detective who can't wrap his head around two girls kissing. Maya Pacana-Bredenkamp's looming urban set deserves a better play. Through 2/11: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 312-409-2010, $13-$15.

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