Molly Brown, a socialite, social activist and survivor of the Titanic disaster in real life — turned into a Tony-winning Tammy Grimes on stage and Debbie Reynolds at her pluckiest on screen — has been meticulously transformed once again into…Elizabeth Warren.
That’s clear from the very first scene of this new Off-Broadway version of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” when Molly (portrayed by Beth Malone, Tony nominee for Fun Home) is testifying about the sinking of the Titanic in front of a Senatorial committee.
“You have been warned, nevertheless you persist. Settle down,” one of the Senators says, in an almost verbatim allusion to Senator Mitch McConnell’s comment about Senator Warren a century later….
Some of this activist Molly reportedly hews closer to the real Molly Brown – a Molly of her age for our age. But for all the gut renovation, the surface of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” remains an old fashioned musical…It would surprise me if they weren’t aiming for Broadway. I wish them well. I’d certainly love to see the terrific Beth Malone back on Broadway in a topical show – though, rather than seeing her in “Unsinkable” again, I’d prefer “Fun Home” or “Angels in America”…or something actually new.