Stop Kiss has proved the surprise hit of the Public Theater's 1998- 99 season. The theatre has extended the run of Diana Son's new hit play, this time until Feb. 21.
The show will be going on without star Jessica Hecht, however. Hecht plays one of two female friends in the comedy/drama who find themselves unexpectedly attracted to each other. After Jan. 31, Hecht will be replaced by Brooke Smith, who has done a wide variety of regional theatre, as well as the films "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Vanya of 42nd Street."
Hecht's theatre credits include the role of Lala Levy in the Broadway production of The Last Night of Ballyhoo , and the recent Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Paul Rudnick's new work, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.
Also leaving the cast is Rick Holmes. C. J. Wilson will fill his role. The cast is rounded out by Kevin Carroll, Saundra McClain, Saul Stein and Sandra Oh, as the other half of the central romantic couple. Oh is best known for her role in the HBO series "Arli$$."
Stop Kiss was initially extended until Jan. 31. The production, directed by Jo Bonney, began performances Nov. 17, 1998 and opened Dec. 6. Bonney has made a name directing one-man shows by Eric Bogosian (Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead ) and Danny Hoch (Some People, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop ). She also mounted The Flatted Fifth for The New Group.
Other works by Son include Boy, which was directed by Michael Greif at CA's La Jolla Playhouse. Son's comedy Fishes played at Off Off-Broadway's New Georges Theatre.
For information on Stop Kiss, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Robert Simonson