Nightly Dose of Terror

"Who's there?"

In Suzanne Lummis' two-character white-knuckler "Night Owls" (at the Cast Theatre through Nov. 12), Gina Hecht and Lisa Pelikan play Hollywood roommates alternately annoyed, angered, terrified, intrigued and ultimately hooked by a phone prankster who calls and calls and calls . . . and never says anything.

"Fortunately, I haven't had those experiences in my own life," says Texas native Hecht, referring to the wealth of emotional baggage her character unloads over the evening. "But for this part, I had my husband call me on our second line (and not speak). Even though I knew it was him--I knew it was safe and fine--it was still weird. Very frustrating and frightening."

In spite of the role's heavy-duty Angst , Hecht tries not to take it too much to heart: "Early in my career, I played a rape victim who ends up castrating the man. After the lights would come on, I'd still be sobbing. One time a friend came up and said, 'You've got to let this go.' I thought, 'Yeah, why must I continue with this?' Now when it's over, it's over. And needless to say, it's a much healthier way to live and perform."

Married 18 months to "Tour of Duty" associate producer Brian Herskowitz, Hecht (who starred as Mark Harmon's love interest in the 1985 play "Wrestlers") has also kept a busy TV schedule.

Last year, she played Gail Strickland's lover on the former series "Heartbeat" ("hoping to create a little less prejudice in the world through education"); later this month, the actress will guest-star on "L.A. Law" as a woman who sues her dating service. "I also played Parker Stevenson's wife in the pilot of 'Baywatch,' " she says wryly. "For the series, they replaced me with a 'different type.' I haven't tuned in yet to see who she is."

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