With an election brewing, and two runs in other cities of "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins" under he belt, actress Kathleen Turner knew she was ready to bring the show to Washington. "I said OK that's it, we need to go to Washington, and do it before the election," she said in an interview with Yeas & Nays Monday. So on August 23, Turner will resume her role as the outspoken liberal columnist for a two-month long stint at Arena Stage.
Having played Ivins first in Philadelphia and then in Los Angeles, Turner feels pretty comfortable in the part. "When I come back to a show I find it's just clearer, it's cleaner, it's as though you don't have all that anxiety of building it or finding out if it works, you can just say OK, I'm just going to do this," she explained.
What she's more concerned with, is attracting the right kind of D.C. audience. "One of these challenges may be getting a wide enough breadth of people to come, you know, because people are so closed-minded now, that if they think it doesn't represent their point of view, they're not interested," she said. "I'm afraid it will be like -- if you're a Republican, don't go to the show -- it's a real shame both artistically and as a reflection of our nation's mentality."
Before Ivins passed away from breast cancer in 2007, she and Turner's paths crossed several times, ranging from attending the same People For the American Way event to riding in the same elevator at a New York City apartment building. But while Ivins became famous for mocking former President George W. Bush, nicknaming him "Shrub" and "Dubya," Turner told us that her approach to dealing with the Bush years was a bit more subtle.
"I had to do some real dodging there once in a while, but I pretty much managed it," she said, explaining that she "purposely" never met Bush. "I used to be on the Kennedy Center artistic, you know, selection board and those events are always held at the White House, and so then I had to bow out for a few years, didn't I?"