David Rambo's many plays have been widely produced at major theatres throughout the country. He has adapted several classic screenplays for live performance (All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, and Casablanca) and is a writer and producers of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, set in Las Vegas - the most watched TV show in the world. Here Rambo answers a couple of questions about his play The Lady With All the Answers, about famed advice columnist Ann Landers.
What were the challenges of crafting a one-person play?
The daunting part of the process was reading forty-seven years of Ann Landers columns. Once I realized that the column had been an evolving dialogue with her readers, I knew the play could be a dialogue between Ann Landers and the audience. There's one actor on the stage, but it's not really a one-person show.
When Ann Landers passed away in 2002, the first line about her in People Magazine read "The world is less wise today." How do you feel she impacted society, and what would you hope future generations can take from her life and accomplishments?
One of the things I hope the play accomplishes is to take us back to the time when Eppie Lederer became Ann Landers. The second half of the 20th century was such a socially turbulent time, so challenging to historic assumptions about groups of people and how they interact. The tense times were hair-trigger frightening, and the joyous times were exhilaratingly explosive. Ann Landers helped us navigate all of that with wisdom, humor, and love of humanity in all its diversity. But the play isn't so much about that as it is about a woman with a problem. She learns to deal with it as she had helped others to deal with their problems: confront it, be honest, deal with it and move on. That lesson is timeless. And, boy, do we need it now.
Interview courtesy of David Rambo and Jonathan Josephson.
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