Kate Mulgrew to Star in Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady

By Andrew Gans
December 20, 2006

Complete casting has been announced for the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady, which will begin performances at City Center Stage II Feb. 22, 2007.

Directed by Lynne Meadow, the cast will feature Kate Mulgrew as Laura Keene with Reed Birney (Gavin DeChamblay), Barbara Bryne (Maude Bentley), Maxwell Caulfield (Harry Hawk), Ann Duquesnay (Madame Wu-Chan), J.R. Horne (Major Hopwood), Kristine Nielsen (Verbena Morris), Amy Rutberg (Clementine Smith) and Billy Wheelan (W.J. Ferguson). The production will officially open March 20.

Our Leading Lady, according to press notes, "is a truly original play about the theatre. Laura Keene (Mulgrew), a 19th-century American stage luminary, prepares to perform at Ford's Theatre on the fateful night when Abraham Lincoln is in the audience."

The design team for the production comprises Santo Loquasto (set design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Brian MacDevitt (lighting design) and Scott Lehrer (sound design).

Charles Busch is both a celebrated playwright and performer. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, which began life at the Manhattan Theatre Club, later transferred to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. He wrote the book for the Broadway mounting of Taboo, and he also penned the screenplays for and starred in the films "Die, Mommie, Die" and "Psycho Beach Party."

Kate Mulgrew has appeared on Broadway in Black Comedy and in Central Park in Titus Andronicus, but she is probably better known as the strong-jawed Captain Janeway of TV's "Star Trek: Voyager." She also toured the country in a one-woman show about the life of Katharine Hepburn, Tea at Five.

City Center Stage II is located in Manhattan at 131 West 55th Street. Tickets, priced at $50, are available by calling (212) 581-1212. For more information visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.