I saw on a few websites that Katharine is credited as Katherine Burns does anyone know why? I've never heard her mention about calling herself this, was it Kate or did someone just make a typo.
Many sites carry the info. that Kate appeared in Night Hostess
on Broadway under the stage name of Katherine Burns. Indeed she appeared in the play out of town but she claimed that she got a better job and came back to New York before the show arrived here. So she always claimed Katherine Burns was NOT
her. Many have insisted that she was NOT
telling the truth, but I find it an odd thing to have wanted to lie about, so I tend to believe her. At least I believe that though the name Katherine Burns appears in the cast list of the Broadway production of Night Hostess
, it was not her...and it was. Sound contradictory?...Here's how I came to that conclusion....Stay with me here...Point 1:
Here are some times/dates for you, all in 1928:The Big Pond
- Great Neck, late summer of 1928Night Hostess
- Broadway production, September 12-DecemberThese Days
- Previewed in Hartford Oct 25-27, performances began on Broadway on November 12 and closed sometime in November.
Kate appeared in Great Neck in The Big Pond
. She was fired from that and her next documented appearance was in what is referred to as her Broadway debut in These Days
. In both productions, she used her real name.Point 2:
, Kate writes that she went directly from being fired in The Big Pond
into rehearsals for These Days
have been done differently in those days, but to support her claim, it seems unlikely that she would have had time to rehearse and appear in Night Hostess
(Sept) in between having been fired from The Big Pond
(in late summer) and going into rehearsal for the pre-Broadway previews of These Days
I have a 1991 letter in my collection, in which responded to someone who had questioned her about it: "I think that's the only time I used that name." She didn't elaborate. On the face of it, this would SEEM
to contradict what she wrote in ME
and everything I've just written above. But it really doesn't if looked at this way - see conclusion below Conclusion:
The theory was posed to me by someone in a position to know that she may have used the Katherine Burns pseudonym for Night Hostess
because she had signed both that contract and the one for The Big Pond
in order to hedge her bets and make sure she had a job - and then broke her Night Hostess
In other words, she was hired for Night Hostess
, probably hired to come to Broadway when it came in from out of town. She then gets The Big Pond
and decamps from Night Hostess
. She's in the embarrassing position of having committed herself to both shows. So the programs go to press - listing the long forgotten Katherine Burns - but Katharine Hepburn never actually acts in it because she has taken the part in The Big Pond
. She then gets fired from The Big Pond
in late summer and goes into rehearsals for These Days
Who knows? Maybe she DID
make a brief appearance in Night Hostess
on Broadway in order to satisfy her contractual obligation but used the name so her own would not go on record. BUT
she claimed she did not appear in it and the fact that the timing just wasn't right is probably the most convincing evidence that she COULDN'T
have appeared in it.
So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my conclusion - arrived at from her own writing in ME
, from the standpoint of logistics (that the time frame between the three shows doesn't jibe) and from her comment in that letter that the name was actually used - if all this is true, I submit that BOTH
things are true - that she was listed in the cast when the programs went to press AND
that she never actually appeared in the play on Broadway.
Did I lose you? . . . Who said Kate Hepburn wasn't complicated.