How Kelli O'Hara honors her late friend onstage every night

This combination photo shows Broadway actresses Kelli O'Hara at the Tony Awards in New York on June 10, 2018, left, and Marin Mazzie at the Drama Desk Awards in New York on June 3, 2012. O’Hara was devastated by the recent death of Mazzie, so she decided to honor her as she performs one of Mazzie’s old roles in the latest revival of “Kiss Me, Kate.” “I have her with me every night. I make my entrance in the hat she made her entrance in,” the Tony Award-winning actress said Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the opening night of the musical. Mazzie, a three-time Tony Award nominee known for powerhouse Broadway performances, died in September of ovarian cancer. She was 57. (AP Photo)

NEW YORK — Kelli O'Hara was devastated by the recent death of fellow Broadway veteran Marin Mazzie.

So she decided to honor her friend quietly onstage as she performs one of Mazzie's old roles in the latest revival of "Kiss Me, Kate."

O'Hara wears the same hat Mazzie did when she made her nightly entrance in the musical years ago. That ensures that "Mazzie is on our stage with us every night."

Mazzie, a three-time Tony Award nominee known for powerhouse Broadway performances, died in September of ovarian cancer.

In addition to the hat, O'Hara and actress Stephanie Styles offer fans another special gesture, even if they may not be aware of it. Both actresses fight over a dress onstage — the same one Mazzie wore in her final scene.

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