Could a Houston stop be next?
Kathleen Turner wins raves as Texas legend Molly Ivins in Philadelphia show
The scene was the City of Brotherly Love but the theme was pure Texas on Wednesday as Red Hot Patriot, a play celebrating the passionate life and incomparable voice of Lone Star laureate Molly Ivins, made its world premiere, according to a CultureMap fan who filed this report from Philadelphia.
Tony-winning actress Kathleen Turner wore red hair and red cowboy boots to play Ivins in the (almost) one-woman show. She mingled with guests afterwards at the Philadelphia Theater Company's opening night bash.
Among the party-goers: a Texas contingent of longtime Ivins friends, including the columnist's "chief of stuff" Betsy Moon and Carlton Carl, CEO of the Texas Observer, the lefty political newsletter that gave Ivins her start in Austin.
Also in the crowd, celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley, whose latest blockbuster, on Oprah Winfrey, is due out April 13. Kelley is a close friend of playwrights Margaret and Allison Engel. They're identical twins who, like Ivins, learned their writing skills in big-city newsrooms.
Early reviews are so enthusiastic that the Philadelphia run already has been extended a week. New York producers are taking a look-see. But the question on your CultureMapper's mind is: When, oh when, will Molly come back to Texas?
We could see a three-city tour:
--Houston (hey, we're not chauvinistic: Ivins got her first newspaper job right here at the Chronk);
--Dallas where the late, great Times Herald coined the famous phrase "Molly Ivins can't say that , can she?" to tweak critics of its columnist;
--Austin, the city whose "Lege" Molly put on the map.
Do I hear any producers?