Mulgrew Wins Rave Reviews For 'Tea At Five'

By Caillan
February 17, 2002 - 9:33 AM

Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) has received critical adulation for her performance as screen legend Katharine Hepburn in the play 'Tea At Five.'

"Mulgrew gives an impressive account of a still young, deposed queen and a lioness in winter," wrote the Hartford Courant's Malcolm Johnson. "Her aristocratic bearing, fine features and swept-up hair suit her for Hepburn in her early 30s, and she has the bizarre non-Hartford accent and the intonations nearly perfectly."

J.A. Greene concurred that Mulgrew inhabited the role completely. "At one point in the first act, her voice lowered to such a decibel and range that it sounded as if Hepburn was speaking through her," she wrote at her web site. "With this realization, a discernible feeling passed through the crowd that had you in complete awe of her performance."

Although he felt the script had several shortcomings, E. Kyle Minor at the New Haven Register couldn't find fault with Mulgrew's performance. "Like Frank Ferrante's memorable impersonation of Groucho Marx, Mulgrew's aging Hepburn is even more astonishing than the younger version," he wrote. "Every physical aspect - the wavering voice, the tremor, the deliberate walk - is uncanny."

Even when part of the set collapsed on opening night, Mulgrew remained a true professional. Adlibbing an observation perfectly in character, she continued without a hitch. "This exhilarating moment of spontaneity exemplifies the poise and innate sense of timing Mulgrew employs to make 'Tea at Five' so compelling," Minor said.

'Tea At Five' runs until March 17 at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut. The full reviews can be found at the Hartford Courant, and the New Haven Register.

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