By Kat Kramer
Stephanie Zimbalist stars as the legendary screen icon Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five, currently playing at The Falcon Theatre. This play has been done before by other actresses, including Kate Mulgrew, but this one, written by Matthew Lombardo and directed by Jenny Sullivan, is by far the best production I’ve seen so far.
Zimbalist, who has collaborated before with Sullivan, is in fine form as Kate the great, portraying her at ages 31 and also in her late 70’s. The play opens in 1938, when Hepburn was struggling with her career a bit after being branded “Box-Office Poison.” This portrayal is a fascinating character study for all young and aspiring actors and actresses to discover that even a great star and multiple Academy Award winning actress like Hepburn struggled.
It is a challenging piece of theatre to pull off, and Zimbalist doesn’t disappoint. In fact, she has mastered Hepburn’s famous voice and laugh. One can argue that a younger actress should portray Kate at 31, and an older actress portray the older Hepburn. But Zimbalist makes it work.
Tea at Five is playing through November 14 at The Falcon Theatre located at 4252 Riverside Dr. in Burbank. For tickets, call (818) 955-8101 or buy them online at www.FalconTheatre.com.
The show plays through Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. on Sundays. Group rates are available on selected week nights.
Katharine “Kat” Kramer is the Godchild and namesake of Katharine Hepburn.