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The First Kiss

Do you remember your first kiss? You know, the fairly clumsy mix of clicking teeth and tongues in limbo. And then the post-embrace silence that left you probably wishing you’d been swallowed by the Earth instead of that awkward boy/girl from fourth period. Stop Kiss, a 1998 play written by Diane Son, deals with another type of first kiss. Like many, it’s a moment between friends. However, these friends are both women. And in a society in which the threat of homophobia-inspired violence looms, such instances can mean more than the humiliating scars of adolescence.

Stop Kiss revolves around Callie, a radio traffic reporter, and Sara, a third-grade school teacher; the lead-up to their kiss; the beating Sara incurs because of it; and the aftermath of the violent episode. (Sara has a boyfriend who comes to town to tend her wounds — not very conducive to a blossoming lesbian romance.) Although the play can be seen as commenting on gay rights, that’s just one component. It’s really about the nuances, small gestures, and overlooked moments of people falling for each other. In this case, the two people just happen to be women.

Stop Kiss plays at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. at Empire Stage (1140 N. Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale). Admission costs $30. Call 954-678-1496, or visit
Thu., April 8, 8 p.m., 2010

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Erica K. Landau

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