Article about "Tea at Five"
- The following article appeared in today's (6/21/01) issue of the
Hartford Courant newspaper http://www.ctnow.com
New Show About Hepburn At Hartford Stage
By FRANK RIZZO
Courant Staff Writer
June 21, 2001
In a way, it was inevitable.
After all, Hartford's Katharine Hepburn has been a prominent
figure in the American entertainment landscape for most of the 20th
century. When you combine her stage, film and television career with
her unique and independent personal style, you can understand why so
many people have been enamored of the woman, who at 94 still lives in
her Fenwick family homestead in Old Saybrook.
Now Matthew Lombardo, who grew up in Wethersfield, has written a
one-person show about Hepburn at two significant stages of the
actress's life. "Tea at Five" will be presented Feb. 7 to March 10 as
part of Hartford Stage's main-stage season. Kate Mulgrew, known for
her role as Captain Janeway in TV's "Star Trek: Voyager," will play
Hepburn at two significant stages of her life: when she returned to
Connecticut after being banished by studio heads for being "box office
poison" in 1938; when she was 76 in 1983 after her automobile
accident. No director has yet been named for the new work.
The first act ends with her receiving the script to the play
"The Philadelphia Story," which was to revive her career.
Coincidentally, the Philip Barry play will open the main-stage
season at Hartford Stage Oct. 4 to Nov. 4. David Warren,who staged the
currently playing "Baptiste," will direct "The Philadelphia Story."
Neither Hepburn nor her family has been approached regarding the work
and production, so it is unknown what her reaction will be to the
dramatizing of her life. Lombardo portrays it as a tribute to the
actress but adds he will honestly touch on all aspects of her life.
Michael Wilson, artistic director of Hartford Stage, says there are
efforts to encourage other local institutions to have their own
celebrations of Hepburn's life.