Our Leading Lady
By Charles Busch
Directed by Lynne Meadow
Previews - Feb. 22nd to March 18th, 2007
Opening Night - March 20th, 2007
Fiona, Jessica & Roxanne were lucky enough to be able to attend the second preview performance of "Our Leading Lady" on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2007 and Fiona submitted the following report. Many thanks to all three ladies for sharing their experience and special thanks to Fiona for a wonderful report!
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Hi to all,

I have just returned from NYC after having seen OLL three nights in a row.  For those of you who can get yourselves to New York, do it.  Jessica, Roxanne and I saw it on the Friday night.  It is one of the best I have seen in a while.  The theatre's lobby cards all have Kate's images on them, just to start the night out right.  The stage is small and bordered on 3 sides with tiered general seating.  You get a good spot no matter where you sit.

The play opens with most of the cast coming on at once from all sides of the theatre and stage.  All that is eclipsed by the arrival of Kate, after that it is hard to focus on anything else, but you try because everyone else is wonderful too.  She plays with a cast of 9 including her.  The scene opens in Ford's theatre in Washington DC in April 1865 a few days before the assassination of President Lincoln.  Kate plays Laura Keene who is rehearsing the play to get it just right before his visit.  The play's timeline continues through the next few days before the fateful night and the day after.  It goes from comedy to tragedy and back again in a little under 2 hours.  It is frenetic and lively.  You are provided with some great acting and onsite stage changes as  there is no curtain.  All of the actors move the props around and even the Manhattan Theatre club stage hands are dressed in period costume.  The costumes and the sets are periodically accurate.

Kate is a joy to watch.  You see elements of every other character she has played, and for those who know her, a little bit of herself as well.  She is perfectly suited to the role of Laura Keene and throws herself around the role with the energy of a teenager.  The other cast members compliment and at times outshine her in perfect harmony.  The play ended beautifully and the cast garnered a standing ovation from the audience.

Roxanne, Jessica and I stayed to see Kate at the end.  She came over to us to say hello, and we all told her how good she and the play were.  It was Roxanne's first time meeting her so you can probably guess how excited she was.   Kate spent a  little while with us, accepted the gifts we brought then she left with the producer and the cast to have a debriefing as the play is still in previews.  We met Maxwell Caulfield, who plays Harry Hawk, and Ann Duquesnay, who plays Madame Wu-Chan.  They were both very nice.

I saw the play 3 nights in a row before flying back to L.A.  I am sorry that I am still not there being able to go a few more times.  I stayed to say goodbye to her again on the Sunday night.  Her sister Jenny was there and also had enjoyed the play.  I thanked her for a wonderful time and wished her the best of luck for the rest of the run.  She was glad that we liked it.  I say again.  If you can possibly get to New York to Our Leading Lady, do it.  You will not regret making the effort.

She is Our Leading Lady.

Fiona Ritchings

Our Leading Lady - official site
Our Leading Lady Info on Totally Kate