The Cape Playhouse was built in 1836 and added onto in 1923. It is the oldest, continuously running, professional theatre in America. Gertrude Lawrence played here many times and at one point was "associated" with the Artistic Director. She died suddenly in 1952 at the age of 54 while performing her Tony Winning role of Anna in "The King and I" on Broadway. They say she still hangs around the Playhouse in ghostly form to make sure everything runs smoothly.
In 2004 the current Artistic Director, Evans Haile, was discussing the Gertrude Lawrence haunting with a young usher. The usher did not know who Gertrude Lawrence was and did not necessarily believe in ghosts. As they are talking a piece of paper fluttered down from the rafters of the theatre and wafted onto the floor of the auditorium. It was large enough to capture the attention of both the usher and the artistic director . When the paper was retrieved it read "Miss Gertrude Lawrence, 1943" an autograph from the specter herself. She was making her presence known to the young disbeliever. Evans took the yellowed paper, framed it and hung it in the lobby for all to see. He told me this story the first night of my arrival and I couldn't wait to see it for myself.
As you know I am very fond of ghosts, particularly theatre ghosts. I had many associations with the ghosts at the Helen Hayes. I think it is great to have someone on that side of the ether looking out for my show. I have decided to occupy "Gertie's" dressing room for my run here at the Cape Playhouse. I found out that she likes blue hydrangeas which will definitely decorate the room while I am here.
We open tonight and although there is limited access to the Internet, I will try to keep posting over the course of the run. I can already tell that this is going to be a really wonderful experience. It is so great to have this little Boutique show that can play in such historic venues.
As you were,