|Project Shaw reading at the Players
Report & Photos below by Chris
(one quick correction to my Hamlet
review.... her boots were soft black suede not velvet.)
Once again I met up with my new found Kate
friends before the reading. After a nice light meal the seven of us stormed
The Players Club.
Now this place is intimate and a beautiful
place to see a reading. It's all wood paneled with huge beautiful old oil
paintings of famous people gracing the walls. Busts and memorabilia of
plays gone by. Once you enter, there is a little foyer with marble
flooring. You can go downstairs which has a pool table and a little
seating area with a small kitchenette. Almost like a mini diner with booths.
More wonderful artwork glosses the walls. A wonderful pencil drawing of
Spencer Tracey graces a wall right before the restrooms.
You walk up the stairs and that takes you
to an open area with more wonderful artwork and a beautiful small settee
used in Hamlet back in the 20's. A huge fireplace graces one wall and off
to the left is the bar area and doors leading to the balcony that overlooks
Gramercy Park. After getting our tickets they opened the doors and
we managed to get seats in the 4th and 5th row. Which started the general
admission. The first 3 rows were all reserved. We filled out our raffle
tickets and patiently counted the minutes till the play started.
Gordon Cox from VARIETY was the guest host
and he had some nice things to say about Bernard Shaw and the plays we
were about to see performed.
The stage was set up with 4 nice plush brown
leather seats and soft lighting to light the stage area. The microphones
were set up on stands right in front of the stage as to be hidden and not
obstruct any one's view.
Five minutes before the start of the play
Daniel Davis (played Niles in the TV show The Nanny) sat down towards the
left of the stage. Kate's sister, niece and a friend sat down in the second
row in front of us. Then David Staller got up on the stage and spoke about
how 'The Players' came about and what the building was before it became
this prominent social hang out area. He told us all that the Gladiators
(what David was calling the actors) would be entering the arena coming
from the back and walking down the aisle on the right. Right passed
me and my friends. I had an aisle seat, David came to me to make sure I
kept my arm tucked in so it wouldn't get knocked by any of the actors walking
David Staller was the narrator for both
plays. He has a wickedly delightful sense of humor. He announced the actors
and they all walked towards the stage. Leading was Wesley Taylor, followed
by John Cullum, then Kate and bringing up the rear was Josh Grisetti.
As Kate got up to the second row she leaned over and gave her sister's
shoulder a little shove.
As you can see by the photos posted, she
wore a black mock turtle neck sweater, a long black skirt with laced up
black leather boots, earrings, a watch with a burberry band, and a slim
sliver bracelet. Her hair was pulled off her face and held back with a
tortise shell clip.
First up was all of them standing and reading
little quotes from Shaw. They would each take a turn of reading off some
very witty and extremely funny ones.
Next up was the play 'The Fascinating Foundling'.
This play is about a man and a woman who on the same day but different
times visit a Lord Chancellor in hopes he can find them a mate and are
very specific about what they will accept. The beginning of the play is
all men. Kate did not have a part until about 10 minutes into the play.
She sat there keeping track of the play with her book and watching the
men on stage. During the funny parts she laughed right along with us all.
There was one particular funny moment where she was laughing so hard, she
held her play book right up in front of her face until she gained back
some control. But you could see her shoulders shaking with laughter. Then
David announced her character, Anastasia Vulliamy's entrance. She
worked really well with the actors on stage. Her first few minutes are
with Josh and they had impeccable timing with their one liners and great
facial and body mannerisms to enhance either their indifference towards
each other or disdain to one another. Which quickly turns to admiration
once he learns she does have some standing in society. Wesley and John
come back into the mix of it all and that does not detract at all. They
all really worked well together and off each other. Again the timing was
impeccable. All up until the part where David narrates that someone
is supposed to exclaim out something. There was a lull on stage, and then
they all started to surreptitiously glance Josh's way. All of a sudden
he yells, 'oh yes, what he said' Which had them all laughing uproariously
onstage. Which in turn had us all laughing along with them.
I must say, Kate's sister (who looks just
like her) has to be her number one fan. She laughed long and hard at all
the funny parts and as Jamie and I agreed it looked like she was laughing
at the way Kate would enunciate some of the words cause she would just
fall out laughing after certain lines.
the end of this play we all clapped madly. During the twelve minute
intermission, they brought up all the things that were being raffled off.
A few framed quotes, 2nd edition books on Bernard Shaw. One on Mark
Twain who is one of the founders of 'The Players', and a signed poster
of this night's cast. I looked over to my friends and said, I want
that. Five minutes later, Carol had won a framed quote, and so did
Amy. Next they draw for the signed poster and lo and behold David calls
my name. After we all were excited a Kate fan won it, Val told me to beware
when I leave cause she was jumping me for it. I did manage to get home
Next up was the play 'How he Lied to her
Husband'. Again they all came down the aisle and Kate hip bumped her friend
as she passed. She really was enjoying herself immensely this night.
This play had everyone again on stage except
for Josh Grisetti who had to leave. This had a lot of Kate in it. Right
away it opens up with her and Wesley. He plays Henry her lover and John
plays her husband Teddy. She of course is Aurora. A wealthy woman in all
her refinery and overloaded in gold and diamond necklaces and bracelets
and rings waiting to go to the theater.
What a very funny little play. This drew lots
of laughter. Especially when David narrates that her husband, a robust
man, enters the room. Except David said 'A ro-breast man enters the
room'. Well we all howled with laughter cause John just turned to him with
a look like 'really'. Kate fell out laughing and once again put the playbook
up to hide her face, which took awhile to pull back down cause we were
all now laughing at her lose of control. Order was brought back and
the play resumed, all the way up until David narrates that Aurora leaves
the room. As Kate turns to go back to her chair, she just doesn't
walk there. Oh-no. She turns like a regal woman, flips her imaginary
hair off her shoulders, fluffs her imaginary trailing skirts, settles her
imaginary necklaces and then flounces to her chair and re-fixes her imaginary
skirts and train and then sits. Well we all lost it and just started
to laugh and then we all started to applaud wildly to the point David was
flapping his hand to get us to settle down so he could resume the play.
Needless to say at the end, they got a
standing ovation and when they pointed to Kate she got a resounding applause
and even some cheering. I now see why David keeps asking her to come
back and perform for him. She brings vitality and much humor to his stage.
She really is a natural with comedy.
At the end as we were leaving we did see
Sam Underwood and even James Rado who played the ghost in Hamlet.
We all trooped out to the lobby to pick
up our winnings and waited off to the side while Kate greeted friends and
family members. She looked over and saw us all and waved us over.
She kept her word from Hamlet and we all got a chance to speak with her
and some of the ladies had gifts for her. She graciously accepted them
all and thanked them all for them. I told her she was right, tonight was
a lot more fun then Hamlet was. To which she laughed and said 'and not
so hot either'. Lindsey asked her 'what's next' and she mentioned
another reading. I looked at her and said “New York?” She laughed and said
this is the month of readings, but she wasn't sure if the next one up was
open to the public. She will find out and let Connie know. (edited to add
- sorry, this reading isn't open to the public) Then she graciously took
a picture with us all. Thanks to Jamie for having a camera with her.
Me and her practically accosted some poor unsuspecting gentleman who looked
completely befuddled but took the photo for us anyway.
Kate made it a point to go to each one of
us and thank us individually for coming out and seeing her. Which
I found to be very kind of her since she had friends and family waiting
on her. She would touch you and then speak a bit with you. Which was fun
but painful for me cause she mistakenly grabbed my sore arm. Then she looked
down as her hand wrapped around the bandages and she snatched her hand
away and exclaims, “Oh my God,I am so sorry!!” I told her don't worry about
it, to which she reaches and grabs that arm again, realizes what she is
doing and repeats the whole thing over. This time I said, no worries it's
just flesh wound. She laughed and thankfully did not grab my arm again.
She never made us feel rushed or even looked
rushed. Actually she looked radiant. I said it in my review
for LL&WIW, and I will say it
again, here is a woman who is having the time of her life. Her smile was
big and bright. Her laughter came from the belly and her eyes shone the
Kate knows comedy and comedy adores her.