Early Bird Special: Kate the Great Will Take Tea at Five in W. Palm Beach After NYC

By Kenneth Jones
June 18, 2003

After Tea at Five closes its contracted engagement at the Promenade Theatre Off-Broadway July 13, Kate Mulgrew will fly south for a Florida run of the Matthew Lombardo play, prior to a national tour.

Katharine Hepburn is the subject of this solo work in which Mulgrew (the respected stage actress also known for "Star Trek: Voyager") acts and sounds eerily like the groundbreaking film and stage actress. After a run in West Palm Beach, a national tour will start. No dates have been announced for performances after New York.

Act One offers a young Kate in 1938, Act Two shows the actress in her post-Spencer Tracy period. The setting is Hepburn's home in her Fenwick Estate in Old Saybrook, CT.

"The first act takes place in September 1938 at age 31," according to production notes. "With Broadway appearances and her first Oscar, but her professional future in doubt, she contemplates her childhood in Hartford and her start in show business. The second act takes audiences to February 1983, when the now legendary 76-year-old Hepburn reflects on the triumphs of her career and her great love affair with Spencer Tracy."

The Florida run plays the 400-seat Cuillo Theatre (The Cuillo Centre for the Arts at 201 Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach). For information, call (561) 835-9226.

By the close at the Promenade Theatre (2162 Broadway at 76th Street), the John Tillinger-directed production will have played 13 performances and 128 regular performances. The play began Feb. 25 and opened on March 9.

Tea at Five designers are Tony Straiges (set), Jess Goldstein (costume), Kevin Adams (lighting) and John Gromada (sound). It is presented by Daryl Roth, David Gersten, Paul Morer, Michael Filerman, Amy Nederlander and Scott E. Nederlander.

Off-Broadway, Tea at Five plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with Wednesday matinees at 2 PM, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 PM. Tickets are $60-65 and are available by calling (212) 239-6200. Same-day $25 student rush tickets are available for all performances at the Promenade Theatre Box Office (cash only, with a valid student I.D.).