Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Arizona Theatre Company Presents: The Lady with All the Answers - By Jack Melichar

Ann Landers read her readers' letters in the bathtub, banged out her columns on a typewriter, wrote for anyone and everyone, and batted away any back-office meddlers with the roar of a lioness of the printed word.

David Rambo, a writer for the CSI series, penned this play. He reminds us she was a smart, straightforward, highly trusted woman who could move millions of ordinary Americans to action by simply laying out an issue and dispensing practical, well-researched advice on marriage, divorce, life, death, the hanging of toilet paper, the relative morality of pursuing a sexual kink in the Middle West, or wielding a dangerous vacuum cleaner in the buff.

Such folks discreetly wrote to Landers in astonishing numbers—even seemingly routine columns could snag 100,000 responses, and calls to action could stir millions, get legislation signed or change American social habits.

These exchanges involved tactile investments on both sides. To get the attention of Ann Landers required more than dashing off a quick e-mail. One had to unburden oneself on paper. And assuming there was a return address, one got the guts of a hard copy in return.

The play is set on a night in 1975 in Ann Lander's Chicago apartment. An ironic twist of events confronts her with a looming deadline for a column dealing with a new kind of dilemma: her own, and is based on real events and actual letters.

Spend an intimate evening with the queen of advice as she shares secrets, personal revelations and some juicy tidbits from her multitude of readers. "A smile-inducing, tear duct-activating reunion with a woman who might have been a stranger but seemed like family...engaging from beginning to end"– LA Times. The Arizona Theatre Company's production will be reviewed here next week.

Opens October 24 and will run thru November 8 at the Temple of Music and Art – 330 S. Scott Ave. Call (520) 622-2823 for ticket information.

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