Kate Mulgrew plays the leading lady whose successful career was stained by the fateful booking she performed at Ford's Theatre in 1865. President Abraham Lincoln was shot during her troupe's rendition of Our American Cousin. Manhattan Theatre Club's world-premiere production, which began previews Feb. 22, reunites playwright Busch with director Lynne Meadow, MTC's artistic director, who made a hit of Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife in the same Off-Broadway space. Tale then moved to Broadway (where it was Best Play Tony Award-nominated), went on tour and has had a wide regional life.
Our Leading Lady, according to MTC, "is a truly original play about the theatre. Laura Keene (Mulgrew), a nineteenth-century American stage luminary, prepares to perform at Ford's Theatre on the fateful night when Abraham Lincoln is in the audience."
At left (from top): Kate Mulgrew; Heather Randall and playwright Charles Busch; Reed Birney; Amy Rutberg and Billy Wheelan; Barbara Bryne; Maxwell Caulfield and Juliet Mills; Ann Duquesnay; Kate Mulgrew and Kristine Nielsen; J.R. Horne; Valerie Harper and costume designer Jane Greenwood; Christine Baranski and director Lynne Meadow; David Rasche and Janet Bienner.
photos by Aubrey Reuben