Posts Tagged “George Cukor”

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Katharine Hepburn

From June 10th, 2009 thru October 10th you can peer into Katharine Hepburn’s files at the New York Public Library.

The Katharine Hepburn Papers at the Billy Rose Theatre Division of Lincoln Center, document Hepburn’s life and stage career from the late 1920′s thru the mid 1990′s.

What will you find? For starters, the script for “Coco”, hundreds of photos, sixty years of correspondence which includes fan mail, congratulatory notes and letters.

There are letters penned by Judy Garland, Charlton Heston, Richard Burton, George Cukor, Vivien Leigh, Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, John Gielgud, and Joan Crawford.

Suffice it to say there is a lot here to go thru.

The address is:

Vincent Astor Gallery
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498
Hours: Tues, Wed & Fri: 11 to 6; Mon, Thurs: 12 to 8; Sat: 10 to 6

All of this will whet your appetite for what you will see in the museum to Hepburn in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and theater.

See you at “The Kate!”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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Little-Women-The-Big-Little-Book

The Big Little Book, Little Women

Copyright 1934. The Big Little Book, “Little Women” featuring Katharine Hepburn. It’s in terrific shape for being 75 years old. The pages are yellowed with time, but that’s what makes it a treasure.

Found on Ebay for next to nothing. The black and white photos inside seemed to have darkened over the years. It’s a nice thick card stock, so it’s substantial to hold.

You wonder how many of these are still around in such good shape.

You never know what you’re going to find on the internet shoppers paradise.

See you at “The Kate!”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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A blogger down in Florida writes about old Hollywood and he has several posts about Katharine Hepburn. His called is called Hollywood Dreamland; Musings on the Golden Age of Hollywood. This is right up our alley right?

He muses about “The Philadelphia Story,” “Holiday,” and one of Hepburn’s favorite directors, George Cukor.

“Hollywood Dreamland” is a fun blog for you to bookmark if you like the old days in Los Angeles.

By the way, don’t forget to click on the pictures in any post on this blog, because they’ll grow in size and you will see the photo clearer.

Enjoy!

See you at “The Kate.”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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Ray Bradbury

Apparently Ray Bradbury was a huge admirer of Katharine Hepburn.

According to Bradbury’s web site www.raybradbury.com, the Pulitzer prize-winning prolific writer from Illinois talked about the many encouters he had with hepburn, which included watching her in movies or actually bumping into her.

Bradbury writes:

“Sometime in 1956, when she (Hepburn) was in her late forties, she made the film “Summertime.” This caused me somehow to put her at the center of a story for which I had no title yet, but Somewhere a Band Is Playing was obviously evolving.”

You can read more about the formation of the book here “Somewhere a Band Is Playing” .

There is a an interview with Bradbury where he talks about a meeting at George Cukor’s house with Hepburn, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

See you at “The Kate.”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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Welcome to my blog for the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. My name is Judy Samelson, and I have been the editor of PLAYBILL® magazine for the past 15 years. This summer I’ll celebrate my 29th year with this venerable theatre publication, which basically means that I have found a way to make a living out of being a theatre geek.

Coco Playbill - signed by the entire cast

Coco Playbill - signed by the entire cast

Also, I’ve been an admirer (oh, okay, I’ll say it: a fan) of Katharine Hepburn since I was 13 years old. Not old enough, regrettably, to have seen either her 1957 or 1960 summer seasons at The American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT, but long enough in the tooth to have vivid memories of sitting in the mezzanine of the Mark Hellinger Theatre watching her cavort around the stage in her first and only musical, Alan Jay Lerner and André Previn’s Coco (1969), and to have seen subsequent performances in Enid Bagnold’s A Matter of Gravity (1976) and Ernest Thompson’s The West Side Waltz (1981).

In those later years, there were other personal appearances that live on in my memory bank, such as her surprise appearance to honor her longtime friend and colleague George Cukor at a Lincoln Center Film Society gala for the great director (1978) or when she played host to the premiere screening of The Spencer Tracy Legacy at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre (1986) or her walk-on at Night of 100 Stars III at Radio City Music Hall (1990).

Katharine Hepburn with George Cukor

Katharine Hepburn with George Cukor

Though many more people saw her on screen than are likely to have ever seen her perform on stage, Katharine Hepburn was one of the few among her contemporaries—that golden group of actors and actresses who achieved myth-making stardom and defined the glamour of the post-Talkies Hollywood—who returned to the theatre again and again—on Broadway, on London’s West End, on tour, even in Australia with the Old Vic.

As the town of Old Saybrook honors this most gifted actress—and their most famous resident—with The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, it seemed like a fitting time to take a look at her varied theatrical career in a blog that will be, I hope, informative and entertaining. But most of all, as Miss Hepburn once said about why she acted: It must be fun!

Following Katharine Hepburn’s career has been fun. But this blog won’t be limited to my personal experience. Instead, in future posts, I hope to make it a lively account of the Great Kate’s stage career by utilizing sources such as her autobiography, ME, interviews given over the years by her and colleagues as well as memorabilia from my personal collection. If you have a special memory of Katharine Hepburn on stage, please share it with us. And if there’s anyone out there who recalls seeing her at Stratford, this theatre geek would be especially grateful to hear about it.

Till next time…

Judy Samelson/Editor, PLAYBILL®

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