Review: South Carolina Repertory Company's 'Tea at Five' brings Hepburn to life

Editor's note: This review was provided by South Carolina Repertory Company.

"What becomes a legend most?" So asked the Blackglama print ads that ran a few decades ago. The answer, of course, was a sumptuous mink coat. But a more appropriate answer might have been "imitation" or, better yet, "re-creation."

The actress Katharine Hepburn certainly qualifies as a legend, and Peggy Trecker White's portrayal of her in the South Carolina Repertory Company's production of "Tea at Five," by Matthew Lombardo, is re-creation of the highest order. Trecker White, who is well known to repertory company audiences, presents Hepburn as spirited, confident, sometimes acerbic and fun to be around in a one-woman show, which opened this week.

Pat Haskell, a founder of the repertory company, who directs the production with subtlety and charm, said they chose the show because they believe many in the audience grew up watching Hepburn act and live.

The extensive research Trecker White has done in preparing for her role has given her a deeper insight and understanding of Hepburn's person -- both on and off the stage.

Within the first few minutes of the preview performance I attended, Trecker White disappeared from the stage and was replaced by Hepburn, thus allowing us to visit with "Kate."

I, for one, found it an exhilarating experience.

"Tea at Five," based on Ms Hepburn's autobiography "Me: Stories of My Life," runs through May 13. Tickets are $30 for adults; $28 for seniors; and $15 for students and military. Details: 843-342-2057, www.hiltonheadtheatre.com