San Francisco, California
June 1, 2005
Many THANKS! to my transcriber and Totally Kate contributors.
Please do not repost without permission.
Liam Mayclem: The late great Katharine Hepburn had a colorful career and an equally colorful private life. The life of the great Kate is tackled in a new play, "Tea at Five".
Clip from Act One of "Tea at Five" is shown.
It's a brilliant portrayal. The production portrays Hepburn at thirty-one in 1938 and then at age seventy-six in 1983. It was written for actress Kate Mulgrew. I'm delighted to have Kate with us this morning. Also known as Kathryn Jennaway in Star Trek to millions of Trekkies…
Kate Mulgrew: Janeway, and one of whom you clearly are not.
Liam Mayclem: I'm not a Trekkie. You're in safe hands. But I have to say, you know, Trekkies are so hard core, and I've heard…
Kate Mulgrew: Trekkers, by the way.
Liam Mayclem: Trekkers.
Kate Mulgrew: I must correct you.
Liam Mayclem: Trekkers, not Trekkies?
Kate Mulgrew: No, they call themselves Trekkers…
Liam Mayclem: Trekkers…
Kate Mulgrew: … quite appropriately.
Liam Mayclem: All right.
Kate Mulgrew: … They've trekked a long distance.
Liam Mayclem: But there you are. You're giving the performance of a lifetime on stage, playing Katharine Hepburn, and there are all these Trekkie fans, sitting in costume in the audience. It does happen, doesn't it?
Kate Mulgrew: Well, it's extraordinary. Their allegiance is unparalleled. They're there. They come for fifty, sixty performances – they've come from the beginning. And I must say, I feel quite remarkably supported by them.
Liam Mayclem: Katharine Hepburn – she had an incredibly colorful life. A great career. Met with a lot of challenges as well. When did you know (tape of various Hepburn clips running during this exchange), or when did the writer know that you had a knack for playing Hepburn, because not an easy person to take on? And yet you've done it so well. So well that someone wrote this play for you.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes. His name is Matthew Lombardo. And the liaison was my best friend Nancy Addison, who has since died. But they were watching me in that very Star Trek: Voyager, of which you are such a great fan, Liam, he said, "My heavens she's reminiscent of Hepburn, she should play her." And Nancy said, "Write it, and I'll get it to her." He flew down to Miami, he wrote it in three days, and he sent it to me and I must say I was instantly struck by what I thought was a grand construct. For such a young guy to write, you know, the polarity. Thirty-one in Act One and seventy-six in Act Two. Shows the scope and breadth of her life in a very new, and I think, fascinating way.
Liam Mayclem: Well it says about you, also, being able to play an actress at two very broad stages of her life.
Kate Mulgrew: Well particularly that I'm so terribly young!
Liam Mayclem: Yeah. A twenty-five year old playing a thirty-one year old and a seventy-six year old!
Kate Mulgrew: Exactly, Liam!
Liam Mayclem: What fascinated you most, or has fascinated you most about Katharine Hepburn. We know she was one of the greatest actresses, but what intrigued you most about her and her life?
Kate Mulgrew: Well of course transcending the iconic is always an imposs… looks to be an impossible task and is very daunting. But I tried to find what I thought was the core of her being. And think that that is her vulnerability and her great courage… in a rather conflicted marriage but one that seemed to work in her psychology.
Liam Mayclem: Well I know the performance is stunning because the reviews so far since it's been playing have been out of this world. Folks at home, if you want to check out the production there's some information on your screen. The play opens on Tuesday, June 2nd – is that Tuesday or is that Thursday? It is tomorrow night so…
Kate Mulgrew: We start tomorrow…
Liam Mayclem: Runs right through June 19th at the Marines Memorial Theatre on Sutter Street in San Francisco. Treat yourself and go check out the production. Kate Mulgrew – an absolute delight.
Kate Mulgrew: It was mine.
Liam Mayclem: Thanks for popping in.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you, Liam.
Liam Mayclem: And let's do tea next time!
Kate Mulgrew: (laughs) Does it have to be tea?!
Liam Mayclem: All right! With that, let's go back to Mr. Murphy without a cup of tea, but with some news, instead.
View video on-line at KRON 4's website
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