Today, I got all gleeful reading this story in the Washington Post about a play that sounds like a Harpy’s dream: the deliciously mature Kathleen Turner as the witty and wicked Molly Ivins, liberal commentator extraordinaire.
“Red-Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” is a 75-minute foray into the psyche of a sassy commentator perhaps most celebrated for a single word: “Shrub,” the withering nickname she gave to George W. Bush, a politician who symbolized for her all that seemed wacky in the reward system of American politics.
Written by a pair of newspaperwomen — Bethesda-based Margaret Engel, a former Washington Post staffer, and her twin sister Allison, communications director at the University of Southern California — the play styles Ivins as a live-wire wit who, in her profane, folksy way juiced up the public discourse. (You may recall that the first of her books was titled, “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?”) And she accomplished this from a perspective honed far from the Beltway.
“She was our Mark Twain,” says Margaret Engel. “She really is the larger-than-life American character who comes around quite rarely, and had a way of seeing things with a clarity you don’t find often.”
“Red Hot Patriot” is playing from now until April 19 at the Philadelphia Theater Company. If any of y’all see it, tell me how it is! I’m considering hopping on Amtrak for this one…