Monday, March 7, 2011

Molly Ivins at Austin Theater.

I am going to do something a little different here.  I'm going to send along some comments about the play, a review of "Red Hot Patriot," by ACA Austin board member, Roberta.  This piece loses my usual thread, but I think Roberta's comments are worth it.  I also agree with Phyllis that we should not be political.  Our purpose is to create creativity wherever it can be manifest.  And that's it.  Democrat and Republican be damned both.  And may both blessed be.  But Molly spoke her mind.  And for that we honor her.
ACA Crew at Casa de Lux. Photo by Heather Hart

So in an unusual blog post, here is what Roberta, now my (russ') colleague, says:

Hey Creativity champions for the revitalized ACA-Austin,
       Talked with Russ this AM, who encouraged me to polish up the following "creative flow" that just had to spout out, this early AM from our "launch" of our first creative ACA-A adventure at the ZACH Theatre yesterday afternoon............    Wanted you both, Connie and Bud, to "be with us," so here are some "creative minutes" of that meeting..........  Open to corrections and feedback, all.
      After threading our way through the traffic for South By South West, Mardi Gras Weekend and the first days the fruit trees burst into bloom, we got to Casa de Luz. Lots springing forth around Austin this weekend.......
    ZACH had to hold the curtain for over 15 minutes, for all those determined enough to get themselves to the sold out house...... Thanks to the contributions of Bud and Connie, who filled our group of 10. We were able to give two tickets away "back to the house" for which they were very grateful......... 
   My write-up below is my "report to all" about our creative adventure to "open the door" of ACA-A reactivated in the glow of the HOT PATRIOT.   Where shall I send this.............
    By the way, Phyllis realized that her daughter Kathy could capture a photo of us with Barbara Chisholm after the performance. The former ACA-A  treasurer, Melissa is in the photo, too.
      I wish to nominate Barbara Chisholm as our first ACA-A Honorary Member........... She loved the interview with Russ on Friday and spent a good deal of time with us after the show...... Russ thinks he will have both the interview and photos by his friend, Heather, up on e-screens today.......  Stay tuned.
     We are launched.................
                     Molly Ivins Did Say That! Thank goodness!
RED HOT PATRIOT: The Kick-Ass Wit of Mollie Ivins: ZACH Theatre, Austin, TX

Molly Ivins speaks again! Molly has been theatrically reincarnated on the stage ofthe Zachary Scott Theater. This daughter of Texas returns to us thanks to awardwinning playwrites, Allison and Margaret Engel, who have given local Austinactress, Barbara Chisholm, a powerful and historically accurate script to deliver toAustin audiences. The Engels’ play is convincingly staged, right down to the antiqueteletype machine that beats out the rhythms of a press room that comes alive on theZACH stage.

Kudos to the depth of artistic skill that creates this brilliant theatricalmagic. Nothing is more powerful than a true story, especially when the backdrop ishistory-viewed-large, with actual photos from “newspaper morgues.” For 90minutes, the audience is fast paced from birth to death, and back again, through asignificant period of history for this politically problematic bio-region, knowaffectionately as Tex-ass.” Chisholm, a dynamic red-head of impressive stature, likeMolly Ivins, built the creative energy of this well-staged historical vignette to thecrescendo of a standing ovation at the end. Molly is back, at least on stage, at leastfor this week.

This Texas larger-than-life review of our local heroine transports the audience backto a transformative period in Texas history, around the historically significant typewriterof Molly Ivins. She “lived large” among us, observing and reporting for her state-mates,as editor of the Texas Observer. The humor and the irony of Texans loving and hatingthe “limelight of being published” were captured with her humorous voice, deliveredwith spunk and sass. Only the more private Smith College Molly, the elegant and classygentle-woman from the Prep School in Houston, was missing for some of her localfriends who attended. Still, her great heart was felt, as the audience could not resistreacting to the force of personality coming from stage central. Some of us felt tearful asglimpses of past Tex-ass characters flowed in front of our eyes.

Molly lived and worked near the capitol center of the great political shift fromthe ole Tejas Democratic government of the people changed by the bon fires of theRepublican barbecue stampede that brought the Shrub to office. “I named him that,” shesaid. Molly knowingly spoke the truth, as only a Texan-born writer could do. Hopefully,Molly’s year on the New York Times’ best seller list will bring this exquisitely capturedAmerican heroine to wider audiences, to those across America who admired this Texas-tall woman who knew the difference between a tall tale and the truth, who wished to be remembered as a leader of “freedom fighters for free speech.”

Multi-dimensional Molly recognized and reported both the difference, and the political significance between a caring Texas statesman and a horse trader who come to town “to do his business at the “leg”-islature. It was the final “call to action” by Chisholm’s Molly, “to speak the truth to the dishonest power-mongers” that brought us all to our feet. The beginning of Molly’s mythology lives this week at the Zachary Scott Theatre, where she “emerges as the fierce Venus” archetype that she embodied among us. This play is not to be missed and needs to be held over another week, and seen in theatrers across the America which Molly loved, traveled and worked

(c) Roberta Shoemaker-Beal, Wimberley, Texas;

More on The Red Hot Patriot: Molly Ivins @

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