Stage West Lets Molly Ivins Say it All

Categories: Theater Caps

Photo by Buddy Myers
Georgia Clinton brings our favorite fiery author to life in Red Hot Patriot.
At Fort Worth's Stage West, Texas' brashest political commentator lives again in the one-woman play Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Actress Georgia Clinton portrays Ivins in the production directed by Dana Schultes.

The 70-minute performance, written by twin journalists Allison and Margaret Engel, is built around the dilemma of Ivins having to write a column about her father's suicide. Conservative and authoritarian, Ivins' dad cast a large shadow over her life. Her reaction to his death is as unvarnished and critical as anything she ever wrote about politicians.

But most of the show shows off the rapier wit Ivins was known for. Like Mark Twain and Will Rogers, she skewered elected officials with great style. She dubbed George Dubya "Shrub" and came to realize that the dumbing down of public discourse means "77 percent believe Alexis de Tocqueville never should have divorced Blake Carrington."

She loved watching the hijinks unfold in the Texas lege and Ms. Clinton beautifully captures the fiery Ivins glint as she tosses off another of her jalapeno-hot bon mots.

"If the truth be known ... wouldn't that be a novelty?" muses Molly in the play as she rock-skips over her favorite missteps by idiots in high office. How much fun would she have had with Bachmann, Palin, Gingrich, Santorum and Governor Dog-on-the-roof?

She died too soon (of breast cancer five years ago) and it turns out she was right about everything, including her famous warning: "Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention."

Seeing Red Hot Patriot is the next best thing to having Molly Ivins back among us.

Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins continues through June 17 at Stage West, 821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth. Call 817-784-9378.

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