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Brown Family Tradition Doesn't Taper Off

August 11, 1996|Don Shirley

Although Kathryne Dora Brown is making her Mark Taper Forum debut as Silvia in "Changes of Heart," she's not exactly a Taper novice. She has youthful memories of being backstage at the Taper, when other members of her family were onstage.

In fact, three generations of her family have now appeared on the Taper stage--probably a record, say Taper veterans.

Brown's parents are Tyne Daly (four Taper main-stage appearances, 1976-78, plus one at the Taper's Itchey Foot cabaret in 1981) and Georg Stanford Brown (4 Taper main-stage performances, 1969-1974). Daly's father, James Daly, appeared on the Taper main-stage in 1970, and his wife (Tyne's mother), Hope Newell, was a Taper understudy in 1977.

All of them except James Daly, who died in 1978, saw the newest Taper star perform on opening night of "Changes of Heart" on July 22.

Brown says opening night was, for her, "more terrifying" than the preceding night when the critics saw the show, because "the press is more forgiving than my family."

"I have no idea what she means by that," declared her father, laughing as he spoke. He did admit that the family sometimes "talks about acting and has fun with the concept."

Apparently the younger Brown need not have worried. Her father said he was pleased by what he saw. Tyne Daly dubbed the production "swell" and called her daughter "a champion under very difficult circumstances."

Daly, who won a Tony for portraying the domineering mother of all stage mothers in "Gypsy," said she suppressed her own Mama Rose tendencies during the rehearsal period for "Changes of Heart" by "going on the road," working and visiting an out-of-town friend. Also, her daughter refused to let her read the script.

"Now I get to lean on [Taper artistic director] Gordon [Davidson] to hire me again," Daly joked, "since I've given him the fruit of my womb."

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