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Kathleen Turner to portray journalist Molly Ivins at Geffen Playhouse

March 31, 2011 | 11:00 am

Turner Molly Ivins, the Texas newspaper reporter and columnist, was an outspoken, larger-than-life personality whose combative style didn't always sit well with her buttoned-down (and mostly male) editors. Ivins, who died in 2007, will come to life at the Geffen Playhouse next season, with Kathleen Turner playing the feisty writer in a one-woman show.

"Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins" is expected to run at the Geffen Playhouse in January or February of 2012, although the theater company hasn't announced an opening date. The play, written by sisters Allison Engel and Margaret Engel, previously ran at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, where Turner originated the role.

The actress told NPR in 2010 that Ivins "fought like hell to be one of the boys and to cover real news. She really, truly loved being a journalist and loved the reporting — loved getting out there and puncturing balloons and making the ridiculous look ridiculous."

Ivins wrote for several newspapers during her career, including the Minneapolis Tribune, Texas Observer, New York Times, Dallas Times Herald and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In her later years, she wrote a syndicated column that reached readers around the country.

An outspoken liberal, Ivins famously dubbed George W. Bush as "Shrub" when he was governor of Texas. She later became a vocal opponent of the second war in Iraq.

Turner currently is starring in the Broadway production of "High" at the Booth Theater, playing a hard-bitten nun counseling a drug addict.

The actress previously appeared on an L.A. stage in 2007 at the Ahmanson Theatre in the national tour of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee. She also reprised her role as Mrs. Robinson in the stage version of "The Graduate" for L.A. Theatre Works.

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 -- David Ng

Photos: Top, Kathleen Turner. Credit: Joshua Roberts / For The Times. Bottom, the Geffen Playhouse. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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