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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kathleen Turner sizzles in 'Molly Ivins'

Kathleen Turner in Philadelphia Theatre Company's production of Red Hot Patriot:  The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Photo by Mark Garvin

What better place for a hardy liberal like Molly Ivins to be featured in a one-woman production than in Washington, D.C. where bars host special drinks and nights devoted to events like the Super Bowl of Politics AKA the Great Debates and every third house throws a debate party?

Kathleen Turner, 58, star of Body Heat, The War of the Roses, Prizzi’s Honor, The Accidental Tourist, and Romancing the Stone, is s-m-o-k-i-n-g in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at Arena Stage, and if you don't have your ticket, well, you don't have your ticket, and please be prepared to stand ($50).  (Okay, there are a few pricey seats left.)
She’s got the twang, the mannerisms, the delivery to bring back to life the lively and hot-tongued Ms. Molly by way of playwrights and twin sisters Margaret Engel and Allison Engel who based their script on Ivins's writings, interviews, speeches, and the Engels' talks with Ivins's friends and colleagues.  (Ivins died in 2007 of breast cancer.)

The show's props, staging, and direction flow ever so smoothly under the tutelage of David Esbjornson.  Turner's "prop star" (Nicholas Yenson) is absolutely “spot-on.”  Such a nerd.  Those glasses.  He reminds you of every high school brain you ever sat beside in chemistry class.  He walks so fast across that stage, he is like a candidate trying to exit the platform after another gaffe.  Shrub.

The show's been playing for more than a month (August 23), and it's still filling up every night.  I probably was the last person to visit the "new" Arena Stage, and what a treat.  Not just the production but Arena, too!  Spot on.  Hey!  Anybody ever thought of an Arena Madness?

Who:  Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins

What:  Red Hot Patriot:  The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins

When: Now through October 28, 2012 (except Mondays) 

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024

How much: Standing room tickets start at $50 and there are seats left

Duration: 75 minutes (no intermission)

Metro station: Waterfront

Parking:  On the street or in a nearby lot

For more information:  202-484-0247

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater at Night from 6th Street, photo by Nic Lehoux, Bing Thom Architects

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