Katherine Helmond is best known for playing the dimwitted but motherly Jessica Tate on TV's "Soap," but with all the insane plot twists of that serial spoof, she never had to spend 90 minutes convincing her daughter not to commit suicide. Now Helmond gets to show her serious side in an Orpheum Theatre (MA) staging of `Night Mother, Marsha Norman's Pulitzer-winning play about a mom who can't convince her daughter to keep living.
Helmond started her career at the Houston Playhouse and last appeared on Broadway in 1993's Mixed Emotions. She received a Tony nomination for her work in Great God Brown (1973) and starred in the solo, Sarah in America at CA's Pasadena Playhouse.
Starring opposite Helmond is Lizbeth Mackay, who appeared on Broadway in The Heiress, Death and the Maiden, Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Crimes of the Heart.
Designing `Night Mother are Michael Lincoln (lighting), Sue Gandy (costumes) and John Coyne (sets). For tickets ($24.50-$28.50) and information on `Night Mother at the Orpheum Theatre, One School St., Foxborough, MA. Call (508) 543-ARTS.
-- By David Lefkowitz