Friday, March 8, 2024

Eleanor—Triangle Productions—NE Portland

 

“Something of Substance”

    This one-woman, live show, written by Mark St. Germain, and starring Margie Boule’, is directed by Donald Horn.  It is playing in their space at 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. (free parking lot next to the building) through March 23rd.  For more information, go to their site at www.trianglepro.org or call 503-239-5919.

Eleanor (Margie Boule’) was the real, first woman on earth (with apologies to Eve), in my opinion.  The amount of firsts in accomplishments for women she introduced, is unparoled.  I won’t go into them all because that will allow you to experience for yourselves this play, and discover the cornucopia of treasures she unleashed upon our country…and beyond.

    And this was not from some flamboyant, rich kid from a Hyde Park family called the Roosevelts, two of which, Teddy and Franklin, would become president, serving six terms between them.  No, she was a simple, awkward girl, who her mom confided in her that she was homely.  But, despite all that, as she played with her fifth cousin, Franklin, as a child, she would eventually rise up and, with strong objections from his mother, Sarah, become the First Lady.  No mean feat when women had just recently been given the right to vote.

    So, with little to do of worth, she carved out her own path and became a voice for the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, “the huddle masses, yearning to be free.”  But she was disillusioned with marriage (via her husband’s mistresses) and so she had her own set of “admirers.”  She became a friend of the troops overseas when she visited.  She found her voice and spoke her mind at political and social rallies.  And to this day, many other First Ladies have emulated her stance and have truly become the Power behind the Power.

    And to think this is all pulled off by another treasure, of the stage that is, Margie Boule.’  Yes, one person carries the burden of this indominable woman, plus playing the parts of a dozen or so other characters over a number of years, including Churchill, Sarah Roosevelt, FDR, et. al.  My favorite of them was Lewis (or Louis), the erasable, campaign manager, who was perhaps her guiding spirit through the murky depths of the political game.

    Boule’ does this with such simplicity that it flows much like a beloved relative relating a very personal story just to you alone.  A storyteller of the first kind, relatable to all.  She is, of the stage, equal in stature to the person she is playing.  I can’t imagine anyone else doing this role…and with such grace and humor and longing, too, perhaps.  Kudos of the highest order to you, Ms. Boule’...long may your banner wave!

    And Horn is a treasure, too, as he (and I’ve said this before) always manages to entertain, inform, and educate an audience with his offerings.  I have rarely missed a production of his (and this is one of his finest, (as well as hers) and am quite a devoted follower.  The almost two-hour play with one woman is mesmerizing but, again, when you consider the geniuses involved with it, it is not surprising!

    I highly recommend this show.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

--DJS


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