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Kiss It, Make it Better

Members say: Confusing, Intense, Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent
4 reviews
29 reviews

Theatre 4the People presents a new coming-of-age story about a damaged boy and girl who run away to create their own sort of Neverland in a crumbling fairground.

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Erika Phoebus' play explores love, trauma, adolescence, and the need for a shared language to process and heal. It deals with sexual violence, PTSD, and most prominently, the long-lasting effects of ignorance, silence, and shame. It's a look into an unconventional kind of love that may feel more familiar than we expect.


Cast & Creatives (11)

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Reviews (33)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Theater In The Now

"This coming-of-age story is accessible and universal. But by the second act, Phoebus explores a new style that does not even come close to being as successful as her poignant first act…Despite the drastic contrast of the script, 'Kiss It, Make It Better' featured visionary direction...'If Kiss It, Make It Better' ended after Act I, it would be triumphant. But Act II ruined the strong momentum. And it’s a shame because Theatre 4the People almost had a smash on their hands. So close yet so far." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"Raw and poetic, the play falls upon you as a tsunami of engrossing pain, untamed passion, and tenderness that is confused with cruelty...The daring lighting design and projections complemented the play very well and managed to not take away from the actors, who delivered performances that gave me goosebumps at times. Sometimes the text loops for longer than needed but, ultimately, Erika Phoebus did a great job evoking the memory of the dirt and poetry of teenage years." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A delightful and authentic coming-of-age story…Miskell was positively splendid as the ADHD suffering Ty...Nadia uses her newfound sexuality to conquer her long-time crush, their childhood babysitter, resulting in damaging perceptions of what relationships should look like. The play progresses to explore this theme in great depth with mostly entertaining results...The story does feel too repetitive and could probably be edited down. Still, Phoebus’ hard work and thoughtfulness is evident." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"Like the awkward adolescents at its center, the script sometimes struggles when attempting to tackle large emotional beats. Thematic ideas fall like anvils, weighing down the action and stretching out the running time to two hours...The rapport between Phoebus and Miskell ultimately grounds the play. The actors have an easy, intimate chemistry...It’s hard not to be moved by the tragedy of these drowning teens clinging to each other, unable to keep from dragging themselves further down." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Original, Clever, Confusing, Slow

See it if You like something different, cleverly staged, a show that constantly has you trying to figure out the time frame in lives of the characters

Don't see it if you want an easy to follow plot, you're offended by language and sexual themes, you have difficulty without theater-aided hearing devices

Quirky, Slow, Well-intentioned

See it if you're interested in seeing a fractured coming-of-age story

Don't see it if you're expecting strong writing and acting

Original, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if It was a good try and original and I appreciate the effort, but....

Don't see it if Hard to sit through for 2.5 hours. Shorten it by an hour, please.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy seeing a work-in-progress show with a lot of potential and great acting. Miskell gave Ty much needed depth & is an actor to watch.

Don't see it if you are looking for a tight, well-polish story or you are deeply disturbed by shows about sexual violence and mental illness.

Indulgent, Excruciating, Slow, Bad writing, Bad acting

See it if You want to see the early stage of play development. This is an extremely early phase of a play.

Don't see it if You want to see a play that's ready to be seen in front of an audience. You value good writing & acting.

Indulgent, Excruciating, Cliched, Unoriginal, Mumblecore

See it if you want a quirky indie YA approach to mental illness and sexual assault. A retrograde neurotic male lead from an 80's-90's teen movie.

Don't see it if sudden loud noises (e.g. shouting & banging around the set) bother you. 2h45min is too long for you. You like specific, meaningful dialogue.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow, Great staging

See it if Was rooting for it, but after an 80 min first act, it lost me. Should be a one act. Acting was very good. So was staging.

Don't see it if You don't have patience. It's plodding. Needs a good edit and tighter direction.

Original, Dizzying, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You have the patience to figure out what is going on

Don't see it if You like to understand the story as it is being played out

Banal, Confusing, Cliched

See it if you are eager to see a confusing, repetitive, dull, boy-girl story

Don't see it if you have anything better to do

Edgy, Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Visionary

See it if It's a stream of consciousness, cynical and rather hopeless look at coming of age. In the murk there are moments of revolutionary theater.

Don't see it if you're bothered by sexual violence, drug use, pathetic parenting, being lied to about the length, lack of closure and muddied message.

Indulgent, Banal, Confusing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if you're in Greenwich Village and there's absolutely nothing else to see

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with an interesting story or are put off by amateurish elements including the staging and some of the performances

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if See it if... Hmmmmmm... Not sure...

Don't see it if you don't like very slow moving and boring shows...

Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Your air conditioner is broken and you need a cool place to sit You like a play with way too many ideas You don't mind bad dialogue

Don't see it if You want to care about the characters

Edgy, Intense, Indulgent, Confusing, Slow

See it if You're partial to shows about serious issues and their consequences.

Don't see it if You have a low tolerance for oblique, confusing and slow moving drama.

Ambitious, Slow, Unfocused, Uneven, Well-cast

See it if You'd like a well-intentioned, overly ambitious but ultimately unfocused, unclear drama about potential abuse. Good dialogue, weak play.

Don't see it if The bleak results of boredom, abuse & nihilism facing American teens upsets. Tighter editing & direction would've helped play & good cast.

Cliched, The constantly moving scenery/scaffolding was very distracting--drove me crazy--left at intermission

See it if you like constant running around

Don't see it if sound and fury signifying nothing isn't for you

Original, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You want to catch a show with some novel ideas and presentation about a life long very complicated romance filled with many disappointments.

Don't see it if You have a short fuse when it comes to overly drawn out plays. This had lotsa promise but loses itself (& us) in act ll. Needs much editing.

Ambitious, Confusing, Cliched, Slow, Disjointed

See it if You want to support a young cast doing theatre with purpose. Strong, purposeful themes of coping with sexual assault. Strong lead chemistry.

Don't see it if It just had WAY too many little problems I wanted to fix. Set turning was monotonous, the plot structure needs a lot of work. Slow paced!

Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You appreciate great acting from a young cast in an original story. I was highly impressed by the performances of all the actors.

Don't see it if intense themes bother/offend you. Drugs, sex, violence, and mental illness are all prevalent.

Original, Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Intense

See it if You want some intense life situations played out with some being resolved. Many patrons should be able to relate. Just like life.

Don't see it if You don't like or want to be absorbed into the story line. That's the only way to enjoy the play.

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Confusing

See it if You are comfortable with sensitive coming of age topics and intense acting.

Don't see it if You enjoy comedies, musicals or obvious conclusion storylines.

Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Confusing

See it if you like the darker, edgier side of theatre. it addresses some very thought provoking material, and it invites you to talk about the play

Don't see it if if you want something light and fun. it is hard hitting, and will get into the deeper psyche of your mind. not really one to take the family

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if sorry didn't like it at all

Don't see it if you don't like long plays, it runs for a bit over two hours with intermission

Ambitious, Indulgent, Great staging

See it if You enjoy teenage coming of age angst.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy social issue plays.

Funny, Intense, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you like more serious plays dealing with trauma, shame and other dark parts of the human mind

Don't see it if you don't like slow/drawn out plays. There is not that much happening here