From the Tea at Five Pasadena Playhouse Program

From The Artistic Director

Dear Friends,

Hold on to your hats .... two great Kates are in the house! The Playhouse that is.

It is with great pleasure that we welcome the wonderful actress Kate Mulgrew to the stage of our theatre. We are proud to present her justly lauded portrayal of the legendary Katharine Hepburn in Matthew Lombardo's moving and touching play Tea At Five.

Ever since I heard about the original production at Hartford Stage in Connecticut, it has been my hope to bring Ms. Mulgrew to our city and to the stage of the Playhouse. When the artistic director of that theatre, Michael Wilson, was here to direct our hugely successful production of Enchanted April we spoke a great deal about the play and the tremendous success that it enjoyed at his theatre and during its off-Broadway run, though it has taken some time, some juggling of schedules, some manipulating, some luck and even a little bit of magic to make it happen (come to think of it, it always takes those elements to make anything in the theatre happen). It has been worth the wait and the effort. I could not be more pleased that all things have now come together and that we have the opportunity to share this extraordinary performance of an extraordinary woman's life with our audiences here at the Playhouse.

If you will allow me a brief backward glance, I want to celebrate for a moment the huge success of our last production, Purlie. During the run of Tea At Five, Purlie will be performed in Chicago under the auspices of our co-producing partner the Goodman Theatre. Following the engagement there, plans are underway to produce a national tour of the musical that will hopefully have a long and happy run. Obviously, this is gratifying for a number of reasons. But it is most stimulating because this very worthy, and now hugely successful musical, has been given a new life. And that bit of very particular theatrical magic took place here at the Pasadena Playhouse with your help and support. It is yet another dynamic and moving indication of the vitality, the electricity, and the vibrancy that the Playhouse is currently generating, both in this community and as a force on the national theatre scene. We are at the top of our game!

Your ongoing support of our work makes it possible for us to take the leaps of faith that can pay off in a great success such as Purlie. Without question, it was a big and somewhat risky project for us. But we did it, and we did it with style, with grace, and with tremendous theatrical vitality. That is a testament to the collaboration between our staff, our board, the artists involved in the production, and to you - our loyal and supportive audiences.

And now, let's look forward. Let's look forward to Ms. Mulgrew, Miss Hepburn, and the delicious joys of Tea At Five.

Sheldon Epps

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