Mulgrew Has 'Tea At Five' on the West CoastBy Michelle
May 25, 2005 - 10:04 PM
Tea at Five, the one-woman play in which Star Trek: Voyager's Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) plays Katharine Hepburn, has opened at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, where Mulgrew performed for several seasons in the 1980s. Reviews have largely been extremely favourable, and Mulgrew has given several interviews about the role and her work to raise funds to find a cure for Alzheimer's.
"I so look forward to challenging myself in the theater," said Mulgrew to The Seattle Times. "It's hard when you have a big TV success — everyone puts you in that box. But right now, the theater is where I belong."
The Times gave Mulgrew a positive review as Hepburn, saying that the theatrical conceit of a star talking to an audience as if in her parlour can be "irritatingly phony" but saying that "Mulgrew's spot-on portrayal of Hepburn at two junctures of her lengthy life" makes the play engrossing. "One comes away from 'Tea at Five' wanting to meet Mulgrew again over a more substantial theatrical repast," noted the critic.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer also interviewed Mulgrew about the role. The actress said that she had recently returned from a vacation with her husband in Spain and was appreciative of all the Star Trek fans who were coming to see her in Tea at Five. "They were buying tickets to the Seattle performance before I even knew that I would be playing Seattle!" she exclaimed.
"What interests me in portraying Katharine Hepburn is the pain underneath the polished surface," added Mulgrew, who has played the role in Hepburn's home state of Connecticut as well as off-Broadway. "Think of it: She was 13 when her brother committed suicide. He hanged himself. She cut him down. No grief, no mourning was permitted."
The Post-Intelligencer review stated that Mulgrew "impersonates screen legend Hepburn (1909-2003) in fascinating detail."
Seattle Weekly also has a new interview with Mulgrew, in which she said that she has watched each of Hepburn's movies at least five times, some as many as ten. "There is no trap of impersonation. I've never allowed it. It's not in my thinking," she claimed.
Mulgrew's web site Totally Kate!, which has links to many other articles, notes that there are audio files available of Mulgrew on Puget Sound radio station KOUW's The Beat and Weekday: Coping with Alzheimer's.