The Temporary hosts production of ‘Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins’

Rhonda Brown in the Creede production of "Red Hot Patriot." The play comes to The Temporary at Willits this weekend.
Courtesy photo |


What: ‘Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins’

Where: The temporary at Willits

When: Friday, Jan. 26 & Saturday, Jan. 27, 8 p.m.

How much: $22/advance; $27/day-of


Molly Ivins — the brassy and ballsy newspaper columnist, crackling prose stylist and lion of the political left — is coming back to life this weekend at The Temporary.

“Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” a one-woman show about the best-selling author and hellraiser who died in 2007, plays at the venue tonight and Saturday night.

Written by Margaret and Allison Engel — twin sisters and veteran journalists — the biographical show premiered at the Philadelphia Theater Co. in 2010 with Kathleen Turner in the title role. Here in Colorado it has had acclaimed runs at the LIDA Project, Aurora Fox Arts Center and Creede Repertory Theatre.

Creede-based actress Rhonda Brown reprises the role for the performances at The Temporary.

The show made its way to Colorado through Denver’s Zeik Saidman — an old friend of Ivins’ and a University of Colorado Denver administrator — who saw the original production in Philadelphia and resolved to bring it West.

He’d never before produced a play.

“But as an old organizer, I thought I’d just go out and do individual meetings with different theater companies, focus in on that,” Saidman said in a narrative provided by the theater company.

It got its first run at the experimental theater company LIDA, moved up to the Aurora Fox Arts Center and then to the Dairy Center in Boulder, went on the road for performances in Iowa and had several stagings in Creede.

Saidman credited the play’s popularity in Colorado to the abiding love for Ivins’ speak-truth-to-power mission and her sharp-tounged wit and humor.

“She was a friend but she was also a national treasure,” Saidman said. “People miss her voice.”

The Texan, who proudly described herself as a “pain in the ass to whatever powers come to be,” walks the audience through lively reminiscences of her battles waged at the New York Times, Texas Observer, the Minneapolis Tribune and the Dallas Times Herald and her fight against the 2003 Iraq invasion.

One can only imagine what this progressive champion would have to say about the Trump administration.

“With the current political landscape, I think we have an opportunity here … to see a show that’s about politics, but doesn’t drag you down,” Saidman said. “Even if you don’t agree with Molly’s politics, come to meet an extraordinary woman.”

“Red Hot Patriot” is one of two pieces of theatrical counter-programming to X Games this weekend, aimed at those avoiding the masses at Buttermilk and the party scene in Aspen. A Colorado Mountain College production of the Tom Stoppard classic “Rosencrantz and Guldenstern are Dead” plays today and Saturday at the Wheeler Opera House.