Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday: the Other Martha comes Calling!

The Globe review of the "Other" Martha Mitchell play, "Martha Mitchell Calling!" at Shakespeare & Co. came out in the Globe today. On a double bill with another play about a remarkable woman, it wa Very enthusiastically received indeed:
...voices from the '70s offer insight for our time
By Louise Kennedy, Globe Staff | August 11, 2006
..... women who see horrible things and have the courage to say so. They're angry. They're scared. And their voices are just what we need to hear right now.
In fact, playwright Jodi Rothe has her Martha imagining, back in 1976, that we'd one day be asking, ``Where is Martha now, now that we need her?" To those who remember her only as a briefly famous loudmouth, that might seem extreme. But Rothe makes a powerful case for Martha Mitchell as, in the words she quotes of longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, ``a victim of the political war of Watergate, and one of its few heroines."
For what Martha Mitchell talked so loudly about was Richard Nixon's White House and the crimes it committed and then covered up..... fascinating and worth hearing again.... especially, Annette Miller's knockout performance as Martha.
..... Rothe has a gilt-framed "portrait" of Martha's husband, John (beautifully played by John Windsor-Cunningham), come to life for frequent conversations . Video projections of actual moments from the real Martha's life also open things up.
And, most important, Rothe and Miller create Martha as a huge, irresistible force of nature. In a pile of blond curls and a fluffy pink peignoir, Miller wields Martha's trademark pink princess phone with deadly candor and vim. She's passionate, bawdy, and often hysterically funny. In a little over an hour, she breaks your heart.

Good for Annette! But surely an hour of the Rothe/Miller Martha may complement rather than supplant the hour of the Alfaro/Horton/Faber Martha?


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