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music by Dan Messé
lyrics by Sean Hartley and Dan Messé
book by Craig Lucas
directed by David Ivers
Segerstrom Stage

Dates to be announced

Sophie & Larry Cripe and John & Laura Drachman
Michael Ray

Prelude to a Kiss: the Musical

“For better or worse” takes on new meaning when a mysterious guest requests a kiss at Peter and Rita’s wedding—and their lives are forever changed. Originally a South Coast Repertory world premiere, the Tony Award-winning play returns as a musical. Refreshed, reimagined and elevated by a breathtaking score, this modern fable soars through the peaks and valleys of love—the perfect salve for our disconnected times.

Scheduling update: Prelude to a Kiss: the Musical has been postponed until spring 2024. Read our postponement announcement.

Ticket holders affected by the postponement may contact SCR Ticket Services at (714) 708-5555 to learn more about exchange, credit and refund options.

Recommendation: Ages 14+

About the Creative Team

Dan Messé (Music and Lyrics) is the founder and principal songwriter of the band Hem. In 2009, The Public Theater tapped Hem to score Twelfth Night for Shakespeare in the Park (starring Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald, directed by Daniel Sullivan), for which they were nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Messé is thrilled to be working again with Craig Lucas; their last musical, Amélie (2017), premiered on Broadway after successful runs at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

Sean Hartley (Lyrics) is the director of musical theatre at Kaufman Music Center in New York City, where he curates, produces and often hosts the series Broadway Close Up and Broadway Playhouse. As a lyricist, composer and/or playwright, his productions include Cupid and Psyche (with composer Jihwan Kim, Drama Desk Award nomination), Little Women (Syracuse Stage, Village Theater), Love and Real Estate (with composer Sam Davis) and Snow (ASCAP Harold Arlen Award for Best New Musical). His works for television include the Disney Channel’s The Book of Pooh and Bear in the Big Blue House. His works for children include Number the Stars (from the Newbery Medal book by Lois Lowry), Sunshine (from a book by Ludwig Bemelmans, music by John O’Neill), and Vashti! and Holy Moses! (both with books by Bob Kolsby). He teaches at Special Music School, One Day University and Lucy Moses School. 

Craig Lucas (Book) has written numerous plays including Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, The Singing Forest, Ode to Joy and I Was Most Alive with You. His screenplays include Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), The Secret Lives of Dentists (New York Film Critics’ Best Screenplay Award) and The Dying Gaul. His libretti include The Light in the Piazza, Two Boys, Orpheus in Love, Three Postcards and An American in Paris. He directed the world premieres of The Light in the Piazza, Saved or Destroyed and Play Yourself, and the films The Dying Gaul and Birds of America. His honors include the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Madge Evans-Sidney Kingsley Award, the Greenfield Prize, LAMBDA Literary Award, Hull-Warriner Award, Flora Roberts Award and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA Best Play Award (The Singing Forest). In addition, Lucas' work earned him three Tony Award nominations.


South Coast Repertory’s health and safety protocol has been developed with advice from the University of California Irvine.

UCI Health

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