We sat down with the amazingly talented Peter Mac to discuss his latest show at Opus: Katharine Hepburn: An Intimate Evening With A Legend – opening this Sunday, January 18th!
Tell us a little bit about your latest show?
My latest show, "Katharine Hepburn: An Intimate Evening With A Legend" is quite different from my normal show fare. It is not as dependent on music as the Judy Garland or Liza Minnelli shows are. Though Kate does a few ditty's throughout the evening to carry the plot along. Including one or two from her (only) Broadway musical, "Coco'. Hepburn was notoriously private and was very cautious of who she allowed the privilege of talking with her. So in the context of what I've created she opens up her private life for one night only (over a five week period) to the audience and in doing so they get a better idea of who Miss Hepburn really was. And there are plenty of laughs as well as a few Kleenex moments.
What do you like most about playing Katharine Hepburn?
Hepburn had a lot of feist, she was a real spit fire. She was a no nonsense woman, with a very dry and biting sense of humor. Hepburn didn't suffer fools and was not afraid to call it as it was. Also, like Garland, Kate didn't take herself too seriously. She exuded a great deal of strength and independence but behind all of that strength there was also a very vulnerable quality there. Something she only allowed the public to see in her films and on rare occasions in person.
How does this differentiate from some of the shows you've previously done at Opus, like Judy Garland and Golden Girls?
I get to really stretch my acting legs with this particular show as,again, it is less dependent on music. Hepburn had a very unique quality about her and like all diva's of her time she was an individual. Something sorely lacking in our diva's today. The voice is so distinct and I am also playing her at a very advanced age when she was clearly suffering from some genetic neurological issue and that must be conveyed throughout the performance as well. Those looking won't see a trace of Judy or Liza there. But as always, my portrayal is based on love and respect rather than tacky caricature.
What's next for Peter Mac at Opus?
Next up is "Judy Takes Broadway" opening on February 22nd. The evening features Miss Garland saluting the Great White Way with music from shows of all decades including Les Miz and Dream Girls. We also give the audience a peek at what it might have been like if Judy had played the title role in Mame and Mama Rose in Gypsy by offering a few musical moments from those shows. It had always been Judy's ambition to play both of those roles. Also, throughout the run, Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Liza and several other golden age divas will drop in to guest star for and with Judy. It's been a while since I have performed that particular show and I am so excited to be able to present it at Opus.
The show runs Every Sunday beginning January 18th (through February 15th) at 7PM, 6PM dinner seating. At The Opus Underground located 87 Washington Street in Salem, MA. Seating is priced $20 general admission , $30 priority seating. Purchase tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1082826