April 22, 2003
Please do not repost or reproduce.
|Caroline Rhea: You know our next
guest as Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. She's currently
starring as Katharine Hepburn in the play "Tea at Five" now playing at
the Promenade Theater in New York City. Please welcome the very lovely
Kate arrives on stage to much applause. After she and Caroline Rhea exchange greetings, they both sit down.
Caroline Rhea: You are so tiny! I was…
Kate Mulgrew: I'm sorry. Could you repeat that one more…
Caroline Rhea: You are so tiny, tiny, tiny!
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Caroline Rhea: You're like a petite girl!
Kate Mulgrew: Well, Hepburn was, as you know, a long drink of water…
Caroline Rhea: Yes she was…
Kate Mulgrew: As she was fond of saying, so I have to watch everything I eat.
Caroline Rhea: Did you lose weight to become her?
Kate Mulgrew: I think I naturally lost it. Have you ever done a one person show?
Caroline Rhea: Well hello!? Yeah! Sorry Botti, I’m kidding. No, it's had the opposite effect on me. But that's good, maybe I shouldn't be…
Kate Mulgrew: No, no, no, no, no…
Caroline Rhea: No, I've gained eight pounds since September but this is not about me. First of all, I just have to tell you. I loved you as Mary on Ryan's Hope.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Caroline Rhea: I loved you.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Caroline Rhea: It was the best.
Kate Mulgrew: You have a long memory.
Caroline Rhea: I have a long memory.
Kate Mulgrew: What was it about that girl?
Caroline Rhea: I don't know. She was just spunky.
Kate Mulgrew: That was so… I mean… we were talking backstage about aging with grace.
Caroline Rhea: Uh huh…
Kate Mulgrew: I was telling those young guys who work for you who are all dolls, to a man…
Caroline Rhea: I know…
Kate Mulgrew: I said who wants to stay young and beautiful? We should age with grace and with some wisdom. (Turns to face the audience). Don't you agree ladies?
Caroline Rhea: I do.
Kate Mulgrew: Which is of course why I’m playing Katharine Hepburn at thirty-one! (laughing and simulating a gun with her hand) I should just shoot myself!
Caroline Rhea: But does everyone always remember you as Captain Janeway? Because you were the only woman, right? Who was captain of one of those…
Kate Mulgrew: The only… yes the only captain.
Caroline Rhea: The only female captain was a big deal.
Kate Mulgrew: of a star… vessel, yes. It was, at the time, uh huh.
Caroline Rhea: And do they still… I mean those fans are pretty devoted.
Kate Mulgrew: They're… the allegiance is unparalleled.
Caroline Rhea: Those are the best fans to have.
Kate Mulgrew: The best, and it's… (gestures to the audience as they applaud) international… We've got one Star Trek fan in the audience.
Caroline Rhea: We have one Star Trek fan in the audience?
Kate Mulgrew: Is there one Star Trek fan …
Caroline Rhea: They're just waving…
Kate Mulgrew: There she is at the back! Hello!
Caroline Rhea: They're just being polite! All right, now tell me about your play, which I apologize I have not seen yet, but I'm going to see…
Kate Mulgrew: Do come!
Caroline Rhea: I absolutely will. I absolutely promise you.
Kate Mulgrew: I'm having the time of my life. We're playing at the Promenade Theater as you said so nicely before I came out…
Caroline Rhea: (Holds up a poster of Kate as Hepburn) Yeah, here's the lovely…this is… look how much you look like Katharine Hepburn here. Isn't that remarkable?
Kate Mulgrew: And we opened on the 9th of March. I go to matinees in two weeks, on the 7th of May, so I'll do a Wednesday matinee as well as a Saturday matinee. And I think it's an unlimited run.
Caroline Rhea: You totally have her vibe down. I feel like you're … no, I feel like I'm doing a scene from the "Philadelphia Story".
Kate Mulgrew: You do?
Caroline Rhea: Yes. I was Dinah. That was my first role…
Kate Mulgrew: Oh…it was wonderful, isn't it?
Caroline Rhea: Yeah…
Kate Mulgrew: And I did the Philadelphia Story…in Alaska…
Caroline Rhea: Tracy
Kate Mulgrew: At four months pregnant… it made absolutely no sense. I did, yeah.
Caroline Rhea: You did?
Kate Mulgrew: But the second act is what's I think the most challenging and daunting here, because I go from thirty-one to seventy-six… in the intermission. And every night is another incredible odyssey.
Caroline Rhea: Thirty-one to seventy-six…
Kate Mulgrew: She was box office poison at thirty-one. Everything is in the living room of her parent's house at Fenwick, and at seventy-six she's just been in that terrible car accident where she almost severed her right foot…
Caroline Rhea: Right…
Kate Mulgrew: And she's saying (in Hepburn's voice) 'she's never, ever going to work again. She doesn't want to work, that's it. She wants her life.' And of course by the end of the act, Warren Beatty has convinced her to take his film.
Caroline Rhea: Wow.
Kate Mulgrew: So it's all about her undaunted courage, maverick spirit…
Caroline Rhea: Right…
Kate Mulgrew: This marvelous thing that made Hepburn the most unconventional, and possibly the most courageous of the great stars of the thirties.
Caroline Rhea: But that's what… she's such an icon…I mean …just…
Kate Mulgrew: (Shrugs!)
Caroline Rhea: If you ever… like people will say I saw Katharine Hepburn once…to see her…
Kate Mulgrew: And you Caroline, she's living.
Caroline Rhea: Oh, I know!
Kate Mulgrew: She'll be ninety-seven in May.
Caroline Rhea: Ninety-seven?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Caroline Rhea: Wow!
Kate Mulgrew: So I'm very honored…
Caroline Rhea: That is a big honor.
Kate Mulgrew: Very, very honored.
Caroline Rhea: It is a big undertaking to play somebody, I mean, of that stature.
Kate Mulgrew: And I've never done it before, and I might as well do it now, and I'm having the time of my life. And you're going to be …
Caroline Rhea: And you're slowly morphing into her.
Kate Mulgrew: Am I?
Caroline Rhea: You are!
Kate Mulgrew: (Laughs)
Caroline Rhea: No… You must be having…I mean you've got to feel some deep connection when you're playing someone…
Kate Mulgrew: It has to be total immersion…
Caroline Rhea: It has to be…
Kate Mulgrew: Because when you're all alone on the stage there's no net.
Caroline Rhea: Exactly.
Kate Mulgrew: There's absolutely no net. So if I’m not completely there - I might as well…
Caroline Rhea: But people are loving it so you're clearly doing a great job
Kate Mulgrew: People are having a good time and I do hope you will come.
Caroline Rhea: I swear to God…
Kate Mulgrew: You go into rehearsal very soon yourself…
Caroline Rhea: Botti you and I are going to see this play…
Botti: All right. Let's get this sorted out right now!
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, wait a minute. A conflict with Margarita Mondays over here?
Botti: No, I'm saying one night so you'll be prepared to look for us!
Kate Mulgrew: Look for him?
Caroline Rhea: No, he meant… oh… I'm now translating for the musician again.
Botti: That's theater talk…
Kate Mulgrew: That's theater talk…
Botti: That's theater talk for showing up at your engagement.
Kate Mulgrew: You can come any night you want.
Botti: Okay, well…
Caroline Rhea: And everyone will go and see Kate in "Tea at Five" which is a perfect name, which is now playing at the Promenade Theater here in New York City, and I also love that theater. Don't you love it? It's lovely.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, it's wonderful. A gem.
Caroline Rhea: Thank you so much…
Kate Mulgrew: And I wish you the best of luck in your play.
Caroline Rhea: Yeah, I've got my play…oh my gosh…
Kate Mulgrew: A drama, right? Are you looking forward to it?
Caroline Rhea: I'm totally looking forward to it.
Kate Mulgrew: I hope you're on hiatus, Caroline, because you couldn't possibly do both…
Caroline Rhea: Ha ha ha… okay… we'll be right back!
Kate Mulgrew: Oh….
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