By Natasha Lewin
Mother, wife, birth-control advocate and — unbeknown to most — proponent of eugenics, Margaret Sanger is not the bleeding-heart, Planned Parenthood-liberal some would say she was.
Starting her nursing career in the slums of the East Village, Sanger began her quest as a contraception activist after watching the toll overpopulation and back-alley abortions were taking on New York’s poor and working class. Slapped with obscenity charges and thrown in jail at least eight times, Sanger was tireless in her fight for sex education. To stay true to her steadfast policies, Sanger: One Woman, One Story is written using 99% of Margaret Sanger’s own words.
Actress Pamela Daly is spectacular as Sanger. She commands her stage, transforming herself into a plethora of characters with the seamless precision and comedic timing reminiscent to that of fellow brilliant impressionist Robin Williams (RIP).
The costuming is also delightful, as wardrobe designer Anna Marie von Firley says, “We looked for…sturdy fabrics that were appropriate for marching or could be soiled when she [SANGER] was out doing what she was doing for woman’s rights.”
Sanger is not a feminist play. Nor is it pro-abortion. The story of Margaret Sanger is about her plight as human-rights activist, her fight to help those in need, and her stoicism in the face of adversity. Do yourself a favor and see this before it’s gone.
Sanger runs until August 31st at the El Portal Theater, 5269 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood. Use code DALY to get special pricing on tickets. www.elportaltheater.com.