The Unsinkable Molly...Ivins
March 25, 2010 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Molly Lives! Last night in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Theatre Company premiered Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Kathleen Turner has taken on the role of the brassy Ivins. Turner knew Ivins personally and said "I liked Molly so much, and I liked the idea of keeping her alive, and being able to honor her." The script was written by twin sisters Alison and Margaret Engel, and based on Ivins' own words and writing.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've been waiting for this to open, I can't believe it's downtown. Molly Ivins was smart and funny and I miss her writings.
posted by djrock3k at 7:59 AM on March 25, 2010

I miss Molly Ivins as well. I loved that she was recalled to New York after describing a chicken plucking competition as a gang pluck.
posted by plinth at 8:07 AM on March 25, 2010

maybe i'm not being thorough enough in my googling, but is this show going on the road? or do i have to go to philly to see it? because molly ivins is immortal. too bad her body didn't know that.
posted by msconduct at 8:14 AM on March 25, 2010

I support anything that memorializes Molly Ivins. She had a sharp tongue, an acid wit, and the intellectual chops to back herself up. Her writing always gave me the feeling that she was channeling Mark Twain.

I probably won't get to see this unless it travels, but my intuition is that Kathleen Turner is a good pick for this role.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:28 AM on March 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

Kathleen Turner made her own career out of hotness, starting 30 years ago. And at 56, she's still hot, in a cougarish sort of way...

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:35 AM on March 25, 2010 [6 favorites]

Kathleen Turner is as ideal as anyone I could think of to play Molly. Maybe I'm biased - she was the first actress I had a crush on when I was growing up. And reading the transcript of the NPR interview... yeah, she's still got it.
posted by azpenguin at 8:52 AM on March 25, 2010

Holy cow, what a great choice to play Molly!

I miss her writing terribly.

This was my all-time favorite column of hers. I think the words are still timely and appropriate, considering the recent passage of the health care bill:
Here's the problem: Government matters most to people on the margins. If I may be blunt about this, we live in a society where the effluent flows downhill. And the people on the bottom are drowning in it.

And it is precisely those citizens — whose lives sometimes literally depend on the difference between a politician who really does have a plan to help with the cost of prescription drugs and one who is only pretending that he does — whose lives can be harmed by your idealism.

The size of a tax cut doesn't matter to people in the richest 1 percent. They're in Fat City now; they don't need more money. But the size of a tax cut makes a real difference to Bush's oft-cited example of the single mom with two kids making $22,000 a year.

When you are barely making it in this society, hanging on by your fingernails, with every unexpected expense a crisis, it matters which is the lesser of two evils.

I know it's hard for young people to envision age or illness, or the sick feeling of frantic despair when your old wreck of a car finally dies (it always does this in traffic) and will not start again. People who work two and even three jobs to support their kids get so tired — you can't imagine how tired — and guilt and depression and anxiety all pile on, too. The difference between Gore and Bush matters to those folks.

This is an old argument between radicals and liberals; sometimes I'm on one side, and sometimes I'm on the other. In the primaries, I vote to change the world; in November, I vote for a sliver more for programs that help the needy.

I do not believe that things have to get worse before they can get better. I think you will find that most mothers object to the idea that you would deliberately do something to make a child's life worse in order to bring about some presumed greater good in the long run. I believe that the best can be the enemy of the better. I believe in taking half a loaf, or even a slice.

I bet she would have been proud as hell to see the Health Care Reform bill pass. And to see that we'd finally elected someone with "that vision thing." :)
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on March 25, 2010 [8 favorites]

Joe Beese: "Kathleen Turner made her own career out of hotness, starting 30 years ago. And at 56, she's still hot, in a cougarish sort of way...

Christ, what an asshole.

Agreed, JB.

That said, Kathleen Turner was my first celebrity crush, when I was a teenager, and when I listened to the NPR piece about this the other day and heard her voice, I realized that I never got over that crush.

I'm very pleased about this role and this production, and also hope it travels so I can see it.
posted by yiftach at 8:55 AM on March 25, 2010

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
posted by mightygodking at 9:02 AM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I saw Molly Ivins in person, trashing (in her own inimitable and sidesplitting Texas drawly way) George W. Bush and his love of "big bizness." I am so happy this show is on the road, and hope it goes national. I'd stand in line to see it!
posted by bearwife at 9:08 AM on March 25, 2010

I'd stand in line to see it!

Me too!
posted by CRESTA at 9:25 AM on March 25, 2010

"'Gummin' in my home state has almost always been run by folks who think the purpose of gummint is to create a healthy bidness climate. The result is that Texas is Mississippi with good roads. I wouldn't wish that on the rest of the nation."

(Time, June 1992)

A Cassandra for our times. RIP, Mollie. Any efforts that get her ideas more exposure is fine with me.
posted by norm at 9:46 AM on March 25, 2010

MetaFilter: Molly LIves!
posted by aldus_manutius at 9:57 AM on March 25, 2010

This damn sure better play in Texas is all I can say.
posted by emjaybee at 10:14 AM on March 25, 2010

Screw that...please let her put it on film in case she gets sick again.
posted by cookie-k at 10:27 AM on March 25, 2010

To this day, I can't take anything Camille Paglia says seriously. I can't ever see her name without laughing. One of the classic takedowns of all time, right up there with Mark Twain's dissection of J.F. Cooper:
posted by steambadger at 10:51 AM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

Thanks for that link, steambadger. That was one hell of a take down.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:44 AM on March 25, 2010

"Sheesh, what an asshole."

Love it :D

posted by zarq at 11:53 AM on March 25, 2010

Oh, please come to LA! I know it's not fair, and everything comes to LA, but please come to LA!

Damn I miss that woman.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:57 PM on March 25, 2010

I think they could sell this show out in Texas just on people I know who want to see it. I miss Molly Ivins' wit and wisdom badly. She's who I always wanted to be when I grew up.
posted by immlass at 2:11 PM on March 25, 2010

I went to see Molly Ivins live in my early teens; my mom let me wear her old t-shirt with the text of the ERA printed on it for the occasion. I brought her an ex-library copy of Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She, and she signed it "Raise more hell!"

This past August I was extremely pessimistic about health care reform, which seemed to be going down the tubes. I looked up a passage in that book that has always meant a lot to me:

"Those legislators who have fought the huge economic special interests, the racism, and the know-nothingism of Texas are possessed of a special kind of courage. It is not the courage of flashy deeds done against drear and deadly enemies, but a courage that often consists chiefly of just hanging in there. It is the courage of those who outstay boredom, pettiness, mean-mindedness, and stupidity. They stick through the subcommittee meetings and the committee meetings and the first readings and the second readings and the conference committee meetings to the final, inevitable screwing. Their courage holds up through the countless failures and frustrations, and enables them to laugh and get drunk and laugh some more, and then try again next session."

And now we've got health care reform. Raise more hell wherever you are, Molly.
posted by sy at 2:19 PM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm reading the Molly Ivins biography A Rebel Life right now. So much wit and wisdom; I wish I could have met her.
posted by shmurley at 2:22 PM on March 25, 2010

I met Molly when I was 20. I got to have a short conversation with her, and she was generous and kind and totally made me feel like I wasn't an incompetent idiot. She was lovely and funny and pungent. We talked a little about Jessica Mitford (I had her book, The American Way of Death, under Molly's book) and college newspapers and computers (I think I made her glaze over a little).
posted by julen at 4:09 PM on March 25, 2010

I sure do miss Molly Ivins, and I wish she'd have lived to see President Obama inaugurated.
posted by theora55 at 4:28 PM on March 25, 2010

steambadger, that was great. Nailed it in the first graf.

zarq, your fave was superb too, and spot on for the current climate.
posted by dhartung at 5:37 PM on March 25, 2010

Oh, I hope I can get to see this. Sounds like a worthy tribute to a great thinker and writer whose words need to be heard again.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:44 PM on March 25, 2010

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