Adapted from Craig Lucas' 1988 fantasy play, which was commissioned and originally produced by the Sun Coast Repertory with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The play's second production at the Berkeley Rep in late 1988 starred Sydney Walker as Julius. The original New York City production opened at the the Circle Repertory Theater March 14, 1990. It eventually moved to Broadway in 1990, produced by Christopher Gould, Suzanne Golden, and Dodger Productions. The Broadway version was directed by Norman Ren and starred Alec Baldwin, Mary-Louise Parker, and Barnard Hughes.
Alec Guinness was originally intended for the screen role of Julius.
Writer Craig Lucas and director Norman Ren previously collaborated on "Longtime Companion," the 1990 film about AIDS, and on a number of stage works dating back to 1980. "Prelude to a Kiss" has also been interpreted as a metaphor for AIDS, with the sudden, inexplicable withering of the young and vibrant Rita.
Also bidding for the rights to the play were Douglas Wick at Columbia Pictures, Steven Spielberg at Universal, Alan Pakula and Dawn Steel at Disney, Quincy Jones at Warners, and producer Edward Pressman.
Maxine Walters was the art director for location shooting in Jamaica. Wig design by Bobby Grayson. Wedding gown by Diana Venegas, Beverly Hills.
Filmed on location in Chicago, Illinois; Ocho Rios and St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, West Indies. Filming began April 8, 1991; completed July 4, 1991. Color by DuArt. Titles by Balsmeyer & Everett, Inc.
Screened at the 1992 San Sebastian Film Festival (open zone).
Released theatrically in the USA July 10, 1992. Released on video December 2, 1992.
Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification.
Available in the UK on video, distributed by FoxVideo #1971.