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Molly Ivins. I’ll admit, I’d never heard of her.

But she’s the gal worthy of 75 minutes of your time in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, currently playing at the Geffen. Or she might be. For those, like me, who are unfamiliar with this spitfire of a woman, here’s the nutshell: Molly Ivins was a liberal Texan news columnist. Her wit was razor sharp and no conservative politician was safe. She was a heavy drinking, rebel rouser. An uber liberal war hater. Did I mention liberal? She was a liberal. Ivins informed while entertaining in the sharing of her liberal political views, as a fearless and hilarious… pain in the rear.

I found Molly Ivins fascinating.
If you knew of and appreciated her, you’ll love this show.
If you are intrigued by the brief (and far from complete) description of this groundbreaking female journalist, you should get to the Geffen as well.

Kathleen Turner is the woman, more than appropriately chosen to portray Ms. Ivins in this *almost* one-woman show. (There’s a silent “Helper” played by Matthew Van Oss… for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why he was there. Maybe he needed his equity card and knew someone?) Turner brings the energy and spunk necessary to give life to this larger-than-life woman. She does it in a surprisingly genuine and honest way. I love Kathleen Turner. Surely you do too. She strutted around the stage (designed by John Amnone) in jeans and cowboy boots (Elizabeth Hope Clancy, costume designer), walking (ordering at times) the audience through the story of her life.

The incredible David Esbjornson provided clean and simple direction. The Engel sisters (Margaret and Allison) are the ones to thank for the sufficient, but not brilliant writing/sharing of the life of Molly Ivins. It seemed to me, unfortunately, to be a fairly surface level telling of Ms. Ivins life with only a deeper moment included here and there. The show is a fairly light telling of this woman’s childhood, difficult relationship with her father, and succession of jobs, etc… I believe it could have been more. But I was completely entertained. I chuckled throughout the show. I didn’t look at my watch. And let’s face it; at this point in time this is now the definition of victory in theatre.

If you are a fan of Kathleen Turner, head on over to Westwood.
Interested in liberal politics? Go.
Are you a not-so-easily offended moderate? You’ll be fine.

Skip this show if you:
Hate politics
Are conservative
Would be bothered with George W. Bush being referred to as “Shrub”
Have no interest in one-person biography shows

Unfortunately the real Molly Ivins is no longer with us. She lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007 at 62 years of age. If you have been, or wish you had been exposed to her political humor and wit, a lovely opportunity is available to you a short visit away at the Geffen Theatre.

Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles
Jan 11–Feb 19
Tue.–Fri: 8 pm; Sat: 3 and 8 pm; Sun: 2 and 7 pm
(310) 208-5454