Friday, September 7, 2018

Ann—Triangle Productions!—NE Portland

       Plain Speaking

     This one-woman show starring Margie Boule’ as Governor of Texas, Ann Richards (1990-94), written by Holland Taylor and directed and designed by Donald Horn, is playing at their space, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. (Free parking lot, W. of the bldg.), through September 23rd.  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-239-5919.

      “Where have all the flowers gone…gone, long time passing…when will they ever learn…when will they, ever learn?!”  An anthem, perhaps, for all the mavericks in the world, like Ann, and the honorable, late, John McCain, who descend like a whirlwind onto our little planet, left an indelible mark, then are gone too soon.  It is not just the loss of them that is tragic, but the fact that their noble impact to make this world a better place, has, or will, fade with time.  It is good to do good but only if it lasts.  Unfortunately, Time has taught us, it does not.

     Ann (Boule’) cared about people, all people of all races and beliefs, as she was schooled with those innocents who, until they are “carefully taught” otherwise, do see each other as equals.  She grew up with a strong, loving father and mother, who taught her she could do anything and be anyone she wanted.  So, she married her high-school sweetheart, David (a Civil Rights lawyer), had four kids (all of which, as adults, deal with the public now) and herself became County Commissioner, then Governor of Texas (the first female elected to the office) for one term.

     While in office, she did a great deal for women’s rights, prison reform, education, the economy, gun control, etc.  But she was also faced with an oft-times, inept staff and bureaucracy, as we see in the play, as we are invited to spend one day in the office of the Governor and the insanity that encompasses it, except for the voice of her Secretary (Kelsey Bentz), which seems to be the only sound of sanity that invades this chaos.

     Perhaps, in my opinion, her most lasting contributions were her ability to speak plainly, sans political jargon, and restore a “We the People…” concept, from the Constitution, to the way government operates, and to work with the common folk.  This lesson, unfortunately, is sorely missing from our current administration and now, without McCain, from Congress, as well (just a thought, but I think she and McCain would have made one hell-of-a team in the White House), what happens next?  Where are all those off-springs of these mavericks to lead us now.  Some hope is emerging with the Youth who voiced their opinions strongly against gun-violence in the schools, and the current MeToo Movement.  We can only hope the batons from Ann and John will be passed to some of them.

     This play is remarkably in touch with the current political and social climate now.  And Horn has, once again, brought us a piece that educates us, challenges us, as well as entertains us…long may he reign!  And Boule’ is, once again, a force of nature on the stage, one that is unbeatable when treading the boards.  She immerses herself so fully into the persona of the role that the appearance of the real character seems to pale by comparison…and that’s one amazing feat! 

     In fact, she was so transformed that in the party afterwards, while chatting with Don, I asked if she was going to make an appearance.  He directed my attention to the fact that she had been standing near us with another group of people for several minutes…boy, was I embarrassed, as I had actually met her several times.  But that’s the power of an Artist like Boule’.

     I highly recommend this play, especially for the artistry of Boule’.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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