As we balanced plates of Vietnamese food on our laps, Kathleen and David sat perched on bar stools as they read their scenes together—one was a Burns and Allen sketch, and another was from Noel Coward's Private Lives. Each also read a monologue: Kathleen's from Wit addressed her heroine's stage four cancer, and David's, from a book of Edward R. Murrow speeches, was on the topic of war. "I'm not reading something from Good Night and Good Luck," said the actor, whose salt and pepper hair and wire-rimmed eyeglasses made him look particularly professorial. "I chose this one because I feel it is particularly apropos to our current situation," he explained.

Fortunately, the mood lightened up afterward, and both actors lingered to chat a bit. David headed back to his house upstate and Kathleen returned to New Haven, where she's currently in rehearsals for the Yale Rep's production of Sarah Ruhl's trilogy Passion Play. Depending on the night, she'll play Queen Elizabeth, Adolf Hitler or Ronald Reagan. Quite a stretch from Gracie Allen.