August 23 - 25, 2002
Totally Kate and her Two Transcribers were lucky enough to be in Cleveland, Ohio August 23-25, in order to attend Kate Mulgrew's Entertainment Extravaganza - a political fundraiser organized in support of her husband, Tim Hagan, the democratic candidate in the state's gubernatorial race.
The weekend started with the opening night performance of "Tea at Five", the one-woman biographical play about Katharine Hepburn, which was written for Kate Mulgrew by Matthew Lombardo, directed by John Tillinger, and debuted in Hartford Connecticut this past February.
The play has been reworked considerably since its Hartford run, and several of the changes have resulted in a tighter, more coherent presentation. Hepburn's first appearance, this time in an elegant white pantsuit, rather than a robe and swim suit, is far more suitable to the piece, and saves Mulgrew and the audience from the distracting on-stage costume change she had to make previously.
There is more exposition - with regards to Hepburn's fervent desire to play Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind", being labeled box office poison, her relationship with her father and several other key aspects of her childhood.
Mulgrew's interpretation of the younger Hepburn has, if anything, become even more uncanny. There are several moments during the first act where, as she sprawls back on the sofa in the middle of the set, or strides, tiger-like across the stage when one would swear it is Hepburn herself. There is less caricature and far more character in this production, and it was a pleasure to see the growth in both the play and the actress.
There have been fewer changes in the second act – although I believe several bits have been extended – including a retelling of the famous moment when Tracy and Hepburn met, and a more detailed accounting of the death of Hepburn's beloved brother Tom. A major improvement in Act II is the removal of the rather distracting 'blackout' scenes towards the end of the play.
Once again, when Mulgrew first appears in Act II the audience gasps at the resemblance to the older Hepburn, and continues to be riveted by her interpretation of the role.
It was interesting to see the play on a proscenium, rather than thrust stage. The only complaint I do have, is that several sight lines were compromised by pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac during the second act, when Mulgrew is sitting down-stage on the rocking chair, speaking so movingly about her brother.
After the play, those who had opted to participate in the evening's fundraiser were ushered back to the reception area, a lovely room behind the theatre, which was set up with tables, chairs and a dessert buffet at the back. Many members of the Hagan family, as well as Robert Picardo, John de Lancie and Garrett Wang were all present, and chatted genially with anyone who approached them.
After about ten minutes Kate Mulgrew and Tim Hagan arrived to a round of hearty applause. Kate and Tim immediately started to greet their guests - friends and fans alike - and by the end of the evening, I believe that just about everyone had had a chance to chat with, congratulate, shake hands and/or have their pictures taken with both of them. As in Hartford, they were charming and elegant hosts, and all of us were made to feel very welcome.
Tim Hagan spoke for several minutes, thanking all for coming – from within Ohio, within the United States, and from overseas. He said that he and Kate felt blessed to be surrounded by family, friends and supporters, and that his desire to become governor stems from his concern for all the citizens of Ohio, especially those who do not or have not had the same support that he has. He spoke of his concern for the youth of the state, as well as the elderly, and about the need for improvements in areas of education, and health care.
We left the theater that evening looking forward to the events scheduled for the following day.
Saturday – Daytime
This report/transcript can only convey the words they spoke – but cannot begin to describe the humor, body language, animation and enthusiasm that all the actors, as well as Mr. Hagan showed to the Cleveland audience. Please keep this in mind as you read. Thank you. (Ed.)
As we approached the theater where the daytime portion of the Extravaganza was to be held on Saturday morning, we noticed a fairly long line snaking its way towards the end of the block. But those people we spoke to were all quite cheerful and excited – looking forward to the day's events. They were not to be disappointed.
After checking in and being given a bag of 'goodies', we were ushered to our seats in a very large room above the theater. And at almost exactly 11:00 a.m. the proceedings began.
Kate Mulgrew bounded up onto the small stage at the front of the room and began by welcoming everyone:
KATE MULGREW: My warmest welcome and my unending gratitude to all of you. Particularly those of you who have come from afar – foreign countries. May I have hands here?! Absolutely great – it's unparalleled.
Due to time constraints, I am going to ask the person who made all of Star Trek possible for those captains among us to say a few words because he has to leave us within the next twenty minutes. Ladies and gentlemen – Mr. William Shatner.
William Shatner, wearing a gray polo shirt and slacks, arrived on stage to enthusiastic applause. He and Kate greeted one another with obvious affection.
WILLIAM SHATNER: Thank you.
Tim Hagan is a good man. Tim Hagan should be your next governor. If you work diligently. If you get money into his coffers in order to buy publicity so that more people will know that Tim Hagan should be governor, he will be governor.
You may ask – how do I know this? And I would tell you I don't know. I can only guess, surmise and dream. I’m here because I know Kate. Kate is a wonderful woman – that I know. She has great taste.
KATE MULGREW: Did you hear that honey?
WILLIAM SHATNER: …Great taste in clothes – look at that lime green outfit! Great taste as an actress. And great taste as a human being. Especially when it comes to choosing husbands! And she has a wonderful husband, and I know Kate, and I know that she'd not have chosen Tim if he wasn't wonderful, therefore I know that he is wonderful. And I want you all to believe me!
And now – the next Governor of Ohio – Tim Hagan!
Tim Hagan arrived on stage to cheers and applause.
TIM HAGAN: I know you all came to see me this morning and I … what are all of you laughing about!? How many of you are from Ohio – put your hands up? Thank God! How many are willing to move to Ohio in the next thirty days!? How many are from out of state – put your hands up. I'd like to thank you all for coming. I'd like to point out to the press, I've already done something for tourism in this area… And I didn't have to put my mug in a tourism ad for one hundred thousand dollars. How many are from outside the country?
KATE MULGREW: That is remarkable.
TIM HAGAN: Thank you very much for your coming and your generosity.
There was a lot of banter and joking between Kate, Tim and Bill at one another's expense, and the audience was very responsive and appreciative.
WILLIAM SHATNER: We're here to help you politically!
TIM HAGAN: Oh I know you are!
WILLIAM SHATNER: And only by hurting you can we help you!
TIM HAGAN: Did you hear what he did the other day on the radio? So he called in – we've met twice – but I'm sure he's told you what a dear loving friend he's been over all these years. He called into the radio station the other day – "Why are you supporting Tim Hagan?" "I don't know why." It was really helpful, you know! Couldn't he exaggerate a little bit? How I stand on education…. No. No. "Kate's smart, I guess she …"
WILLIAM SHATNER: Well you see, what you have to understand is – that lends validity and veracity to what I'm saying! Only by hearing your sense of humor and your humanity and seeing the good looking man…
TIM HAGAN: Why are you all being sick?! I don't understand – vomiting so early in the morning!!!
(To Shatner) You've been around those horses too long – and what they're responsible for!!
WILLIAM SHATNER: A lot of manure! And what are you responsible for?
TIM HAGAN: The same. We can't fool this crowd!
WILLIAM SHATNER: Yes you can!
TIM HAGAN: You've done it for thirty years!
WILLIAM SHATNER: … And…. And… you're doing it now!
TIM HAGAN: I have to sit down.
WILLIAM SHATNER: You can't sit down Tom, I don't know what to say…
TIM HAGAN: Try Tim, will you! Tom Hagan was in "The Godfather". My mother is Italian, and she'll be back to see you later on!
WILLIAM SHATNER: That's the godmother…
TIM HAGAN: Is it you or me?
WILLIAM SHATNER: It's gotta be you. This is your day.
TIM HAGAN: (singing) It's gotta be you…. Go ahead – break into it…
WILLIAM SHATNER: No… I … I don't sing!
TIM HAGAN: Oh… really!!
KATE MULGREW: Try!
A little bit later, Hagan called Shatner Bob! And Shatner retaliated quickly:
WILLIAM SHATNER: We know one thing – Tom Hagan is the man…
KATE MULGREW: Thank you Lieutenant!
WILLIAM SHATNER: We all have to begin somewhere!
KATE MULGREW: I want to say this. There is one constant thing in Star Trek. Many of them are behind those doors – they're about to come out. And this man next to me. Generosity has run a different course in my last eight year's experience with this group. Fiercely loyal. Incredibly generous. All of whom come here on their own time, on their own dime, out of the goodness of their own hearts. I cannot thank you enough. And I will repay you in kind… very dangerous to say that to Mr. Shatner… Any time you want!
After William Shatner left, Kate and Tim remained on stage and once again told the story of how they met, fell in love and eventually married.
Later on Kate and Tim again thanked the audience:
TIM HAGAN: I want to be serious for one moment. For all of those who came from outside the United States – again – put your hands up. Kate and I - we especially want to thank you - and note to the press that they can't contribute to political campaigns in America but they were so generous to contribute to Kate's real deep commitment and her love for her mother – to the National Alzheimer's Association. So to all of you - Joan Mulgrew was my dear friend long before I met Kate, I love her very deeply, and I have the great blessing now of her being my mother in law and Kate and I have really dedicated ourselves to trying to do all we can for this terrible disease. So we want to thank all of you particularly, because this is a long journey and we're deeply grateful for your contributions. I think we raised over $8000.
KATE MULGREW: I just think it's incredible…
TIM HAGAN: You're great to be here with us, despite the fact you don't get to vote for the governor of Ohio!
KATE MULGREW: You all are incredible. When I am asked this question, which I often am by the press – by everybody – what is it about Star Trek fans? It is something so rare. It is the kind of allegiance – a kind of unconditional support and a kind of intelligence, that I think is unparalleled. And I'm not just saying that. I have always felt this. And that's why I think Star Trek has been such a success, don't you? You are discerning minds watching this product. So I am eternally grateful. You are really wonderful.
Because she had to go to the theater, Kate quickly introduced her co-stars. She began by calling on Robert Picardo, who didn't appear immediately… instead John de Lancie raced up onto the stage calling out "Here I am!" Kate immediately responded with "Mr. Robert Picardo is doing an imitation today … Mr. John de Lancie!"
JOHN DE LANCIE: I've spent years on Voyager…. Playing the Doctor.
Are any of you Star Trek fans? Where is Bob?
(From the back "He went to his hotel, he's on at two!")
JOHN DE LANCIE: He went to his hotel? Well. This is really called missing your entrance!
KATE MULGREW: Well tie the rest of them up so they can't leave!
John related a story of his own about missing an entrance during a performance at Lincoln Center. He and Kate called upon John's wife actor, Marnie Mosiman to join them on stage. Kate commented that here were the women behind the men and Tim commented that he and Marnie were used to being 'pushed aside' so that people could get to their spouses, but that he and Marnie often had a 'much better time'!
Marnie, on Kate's urging sang – a lovely rendition of "Amazing Grace". The audience joined in with enthusiasm.
Kate then made another introduction:
KATE MULGREW: I'm sure you remember the character of Q, so brilliantly played – so sort of fiercely, so frighteningly, magnificently played by the unbelievable talent – Mr. Robert Picardo. Come on sweetie! What do you mean you went back to your hotel!? I love this man!
ROBERT PICARDO: Thank you. There have been so many firsts that I have been blessed with through my relationship with Kate. Today's first was the first time that I have been introduced while I was in the toilet stall! I've been a professional for over twenty-seven years and it's the first time I ever heard "Now here he is, Robert Picardo." I looked quickly around the stall for the hidden camera.
JOHN DE LANCIE: No, but we saw you – you were on the mini-cam!
ROBERT PICARDO: A mini-cam. Thank you John! Once again, John De Lancie's broken another heart! Actually, my understanding is that the footage will only be on the evening news.
Robert Picardo read a letter from Ethan Phillips who expressed regret at being unable to attend the event; he has been cast in a movie starring Billy Bob Thornton:
"Greetings to everyone, and especially to Tim, to whom all my hopes and prayers are directed. I am filled with regret that I cannot be there today, I was cast in a movie."
(Picardo interrupted himself here - That's a phenomenon in itself! I'm sorry that was an aside, I won't make any more!)
"I was cast in a movie. This was much to my surprise because my agent had called last week to tell me the job was between me and the guy who was going to get it. Pause for laughter" (Picardo then explained – and then it says) "Thank you!"
The letter went on to praise Tim Hagan and to wish him luck in the election.
Tim thanked Ethan, and told the audience how much he loved and admired Phillips and the rest of the cast and crew of Voyager. Again he thanked them all for coming to support him.
The actors related stories about being on the set together – talking about their camaraderie and fondness for one another. Eventually Kate left for the theater – and her afternoon performance of "Tea at Five."
Robert Picardo was given an EMH Christmas ornament and pointed out that de Lancie was last year's ornament – so that this was the first and only time that the 2001 and 2002 ornaments had been on stage together, side by side!
He also sang two songs – clever parodies – one relating to his action figure, and now Christmas ornament called "I'll be sold for Christmas", and another about what it's like to relate to Star Trek fans – especially now that Voyager is over, to the tune "Will you still love me tomorrow?" He also did a Sonny & Cher number – playing both parts!
He mentioned that unfortunately there were professional conflicts which prevented some of his fellow cast members from attending, but that they had all wanted to be there, and had sent their regrets and good wishes to Tim and his campaign.
He then re-introduced John de Lancie who proceeded to relate several extremely humorous stories about his experiences – in the "Thornbirds", "Days of our Lives" and on stage as Lord Byron. Someone asked him which was his favorite episode and he responded that he really didn't have a favorite, there are parts of each episode that he liked.
Garrett Wang was the next performer to appear. He did several imitations – of Kate, and other cast members, spoke of his newest passion – golf, and related several amusing stories about being on the set of Voyager, including the now famous one wherein he mistook one rather prominent part of Jeri Ryan's anatomy for an elbow. He was charming and funny and established an immediate rapport with the audience.
Tim Russ also performed several song parodies – one to the theme from "Gilligan's Island" and another to the theme from "The Love Boat". He also did songs from his recent album including the title piece "Kushangaza".
He read an extremely funny version of Endgame that he had written, starring Captain Laneway, Commander Chocolatay, Lieutenant Commander Two Sock, (at the helm) Lieutenant BareAss, (at operations) Hairy Lip, (in engineering) Lieutenant Forehead, Seven and Three Quarters, (and in sickbay) The Pornographic Doctor, and Kleenex.
After Tim's performance the actors auctioned off scripts, caps, pictures, and other Star Trek and Voyager items, most from their own private collections. The audience was very responsive and a lot of money was raised. Tim Hagan jokingly offered to auction off his tie. When someone suggest that he sign it, he complied, and the other actors signed it as well. It eventually sold for $2000. Hagan was visibly moved by the generosity of the crowd and thanked them profusely.
The day, which seemed to have gone extremely quickly ended on that high note at about 5 p.m.
Saturday Evening – Cocktails and Dinner
The lobby of the State Theater of the Playhouse Square Center, a huge room with high ceilings, marble floors and theatrical murals, was a fitting venue in which to hold the event.
We arrived at the theater a few minutes before the designated time of 6:30, and registered with the organizers. Very shortly thereafter, Kate Mulgrew arrived and indicated that the doors should be opened and the festivities should begin.
The room was large enough to hold all the guests comfortably and set up so that the band, "High Society", was in the front, and a large expanse of dance floor separated them from the dinner area. Tables were set with blue cloths and red white and blue napkins – an appropriate décor for the occasion.
Once again, as Kate, Tim Hagan and the other actors – Robert Picardo, John de Lancie, and Garrett Wang - arrived, they made sure to meet and greet as many of the guests as possible. Anyone who wished to, was able to chat with, have their picture taken with or shake hands with all of them – they were friendly and accessible. Robert Duncan McNeill also arrived in time for the evening event. He had been directing "Dawson's Creek" in the Carolinas and had been unable to attend the daytime events.
Dinner began at approximately 8:00 p.m. We were served salad, chicken in phyllo dough with vegetables and a patriotically arranged plate of strawberry shortcake – a brightly wrapped chocolate providing the blue component to the dish.
After dinner, all the actors gathered at the front of the room as Kate's Captain Janeway uniform, including her boots was sold to an anonymous donor by means of a silent auction. Kate was visibly emotional about parting with the outfit, but had obviously decided that this was something she wanted to do.
Once the auction was over, the band began to play and the party began to 'swing'. Kate and Tim Hagan started to dance and many guests followed suit. As the dance floor filled, Kate, Tim, and all the other actors took turns dancing with one another, and with many of their guests. Kate and Robert McNeill took the floor at one point, and showed us all how to 'jive'! And she and Tim Russ shared an energetic dance as well. Another highlight of the evening was following Captain Janeway around the floor in a conga line!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate Mulgrew, Tim Hagan, Robert Picardo, Tim Russ, Garrett Wang, John de Lancie, Marnie Mosiman and Robert Duncan McNeill for making this event the great success it was. But we are also well aware it could not have taken place without the hard work and fervent dedication of the staff of the "Hagan for Governor" campaign. For months they dealt almost constantly with a myriad of logistics, questions and special requests - from people within and outside the state of Ohio as well as outside the country, last minute changes and cancellations, all the while running Tim Hagan's campaign for governor.
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