There's something incredible about the one-woman play. It lays somewhere in the intimacy of the experience that calls into bright focus the power of the single actor and their story. When that actress is Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot, the experience is magnified, not only because Turner is an incredible actress, but because Molly Ivins herself had such a larger than life persona as a boldly critical, out-spoken, and witty reporter...and a human being.
Red Hot Patriot presents a dual history - within the framework of Molly Ivins' life and career, we are shown snapshots of an American history. Though Turner (and an occasional "helper") is the only actor on the stage, through flashbacks to past stories, images, and music - we are introduced to people and places connected to Ivins. We jump through time - to recognizable faces on the national political stage, through stories of her friends and family, and through the stories written by Ivins herself.
Red Hot Patriot evokes laughter through many of these turns, especially taking hold of how unabashedly honest Ivins was in her political opinions. The show is truly an hilarious experience. But in the right moments, the audience also finds itself carried into the corners of loss and lessons that shines a light inward on a woman who accomplished much because she felt the forces of life that could hold a person back and wasn't going to be held back.
Currently in an extended run at the Geffen Playhouse, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins runs until February 19th, 2012. See more information on ExperienceLA.com.