TEA AT FIVE
By Matthew Lombardo
John Tillinger Directs
Performances Begin Feb 25th at the Promenade Theatre
Daryl Roth, David Gersten, Paul Morer, Michael Filerman, and Jack Thomas will present the Hartford Stage production of Tea at Five by Matthew Lombardo, starring Kate Mulgrew. A portrait of screen and stage legend Katharine Hepburn, Tea at Five makes its Off-Broadway bow at the Promenade Theatre (Broadway at 76th Street), beginning performances February 25th, with Opening Night set for March 9th. Fresh off a seven-year tour of duty as Captain Janeway on UPN’s Star Trek: Voyager, Ms. Mulgrew returns to the stage for the first time in eight years to portray the four-time Oscar winner at opposite ends of her peerless career. Lombardo created the one-woman show for Mulgrew after conducting extensive research on the life and work of the legendary Academy Award-winning actress. Acclaimed director John Tillinger will stage Tea at Five.
Tea at Five is an intimate look at Katharine Hepburn at home in her Fenwick estate in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The first act takes place in September 1938. Despite Broadway appearances and her first Oscar, she has just been labeled “box office poison” after a series of film flops. With her professional future in doubt, she contemplates her childhood in Hartford, education and her start in show business. The second act takes place in February 1983, after Hepburn was injured in a car crash. The accident affords the now-legendary star an opportunity to reflect on the triumphs of her career and her heart-breaking romance with Spencer Tracy. Matthew Lombardo’s play reveals Hepburn as an undeniable talent that is equal parts intuitive, witty and fiery.
Because of her intelligent choices in roles, authoritative presence and distinctive look, Kate Mulgrew has often been likened to Hepburn, making her a natural choice to play the actress in Tea at Five. Ms. Mulgrew’s acting resume encompasses work on the stage, television and film. She made her acting debut on ABC’s Ryan’s Hope for two years in the role of Mary Ryan. After she completed her work on the daytime soap opera, she was given her first prime time leading role as the title character on Kate Columbo (also known as Kate Loves a Mystery).
Her career blasted off to another dimension when she was selected for the role of Captain Kathryn Janeway on Paramount Television’s syndicated smash Star Trek: Voyager. She was the first woman in the science fiction franchise’s history selected to lead the series, a position she held for seven seasons. She can currently be seen in her major motion picture debut as Capt. Janeway for the next Star Trek feature film – Star Trek: Nemesis. Her television work also included roles on Murphy Brown, Cheers, Man of the People and Heartbeat. Her film work has included Love Spell – Isolt of Ireland with Richard Burton, A Stranger is Watching, and Throw Mama from the Train. She has been seen in Black Comedy on Broadway, Titus Andronicus at the NY Shakespeare Festival, and Hedda Gabler and Measure for Measure at the Mark Taper Forum.
Playwright Matthew Lombardo’s credits include Mother and Child at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre and Guilty Innocence at the Actors’ Playhouse, which he also directed. For the television series Another World, Mr. Lombardo garnered a Writer’s Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement. He has recently finished two plays: House of Atreus and The Kennel Club and is currently working on the stage adaptation of Brad Gooch’s novel Scary Kisses.
Director John Tillinger received Tony Award nominations for his work as a director on Inherit the Wind, The Price, and Loot, for which he also received the Outer Critics Circle Award. Among his other Broadway credits are Say Goodnight Gracie (currently at the Helen Hayes Theatre), Judgment at Nuremburg, Night Must Fall with Matthew Broderick, Getting and Spending, and The Sunshine Boys. His Off-Broadway credits include The Lisbon Traviata (Lortel Award), The Perfect Party (Outer Critics Circle Award), Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Drama Desk Award), Sylvia, A Perfect Ganesh, Lips Together Teeth Apart, The Memory of Water and Comic Potential. Mr. Tillinger directed What the Butler Saw, Corpse! and Love Letters in London’s West End.
The creative team for the play includes Tony Award-winning set designer Tony Straiges (Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George), lighting designer Kevin Adams (Hedda Gabler, Sexaholix), costume designer Jess Goldstein (The Most Happy Fella, Love! Valour! Compassion!), and sound designer John Gromada.
Daryl Roth is privileged to have produced four Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: Proof by David Auburn, which also won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Play; Wit by Margaret Edson; How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel; and Three Tall Women by Edward Albee. She is currently represented by Medea, Our Lady of 121st Street, and most recently, Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Other ward wining productions include; De La Guarda; Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby, Closer Than Ever; The Baby Dance; Anna Devere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Camping with Henry and Tom; Old Wicked Songs; Defying Gravity; and The Bomb-itty of Errors, as well as the HBO film of the Pulitzer Prize winning Dinner With Friends. Ms. Roth is a member of the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center Theater and Sundance Institute. She has initiated the annual Creative Spirit Award and was included in Crain's "100 Most Influential Women in Business."
David Gersten has worked on and Off-Broadway for almost twenty years, currently including Tony N' Tina's Wedding (now in its 16th year!), Drama League, and The League of Off-Broadway Theatres & Producers’ annual Lortel Awards (7th year!), which he also writes and co-produces, among others. David serves on the Board of Governors of ATPAM, the Association of Theatrical Press Agents & Managers. He previously produced Eleanor & Hick at the John Houseman Theatre as well as numerous galas and fund-raisers for such organizations as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, God’s Love We Deliver, Bailey House, The Actors’ Fund, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation, among others, and is developing the play Almost A Man by Jerry Douglas.
Paul Morer has been a theatrical general manager since 1988. Among his many productions are Sexaholix…a love story written by and starring John Leguizamo (Broadway and HBO special); Paul Robeson (Broadway and US tour), Rob Becker’s Defending the Caveman (Broadway), Jerry Seinfeld’s I’m Telling You For The Last Time (live HBO special) and Off-Broadway productions including Joe and Betty, Reno: Rebel without a Pause, End Of The World Party, Trainspotting, Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, Ali (Off-Broadway and London productions).
Tea At Five marks Michael Filerman first venture as an off-Broadway producer. He also serves as associate producer of Our Lady of 121st Street. His TV background includes the long running series “Knots Landing, “Falcon Crest,” “Flamingo Road,” “Sisters,” and “Dallas,” as well as the TV movies “Christmas Eve” with Loretta Young, “The Story Lady” with Jessica Tandy, and “Roommates” one of the first TV movies to deal with AIDS. Mr. Filerman produced the LA productions of The 24th Day with Noah Wylie and Peter Berg, and I Love You You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Jack Thomas has spent 18 years on Broadway, providing market strategies for over 225 shows, including all of the mega-musicals, and virtually every Broadway show to open this season. He serves as Senior Consulting Director for Theatre Direct International. Jack is on the Boards of Drama Dept, one of Off-Broadway's premier companies, the Yale Alumni Fund, and Doug Varone & Dancers. He is also Associate Producer on Our Lady of 121st Street.
Tea at Five begins previews on February 25th. Opening Night will be March 9th at 5 PM. Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets will be $60* and (starting Feb. 3rd) can be ordered by calling Tele-Charge at (212) 239-6200 or by visiting Tele-Charge.Com. 25 student rush tickets are available daily, at 5 PM, for $25*. (Cash only, with proper ID, at the box office).
*$1.25 facility fee will be added to the price of a ticket
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