Theater is Cool
This week’s ”Stage” review of Theatre Arlington’s superbly executed Leading Ladies doesn’t mention one part of last Friday night’s production: The curtain call, when one of the lead actors announced to the audience that TA’s air conditioning system had gone kerplunk and they desperately needed donations to pay off the $14,000 repair bill. (During tech week, the two lead actors sweltered through rehearsals in full drag – that’s commitment to your art form). TA is taking donations in the lobby after performances and during box office hours. Support refrigerated entertainment!
For people who see Leading Ladies, Ken Ludwig’s script contains one line that prompts most audience members to scratch their heads: “Katharine Hepburn was born with a knife between her teeth.” I did a little internet checking, and it turns out this is an allusion to a real dramatic exercise favored by voice coaches for their young female students in the 1930s and ‘40s. Hepburn’s jaw-clenched, wide-mouthed New England enunciation was all the rage among aspiring young actresses. The way to achieve this was to place a knife between one’s teeth and talk around it. I recently practiced in front of a mirror with a plastic spork. My delivery of the On Golden Pond line “We’re gonna get on that horse, and we’re gonna go, go, go!” was stunning.