DON'T LOOK NOW, but 62-year-old Margie Boulé is the Spider Woman, slinking across some scaffolding. Now she's a Soviet princess running through a snowy wilderness! And now? Now she's an elderly mom, comforting her grown gay son. Who is Margie Boulé, you inevitably ask, and what the hell is going on?
Kiss of the Spider Woman may sound like a Marvel title, but it's actually a musical set in a 1970s Buenos Aires prison, currently running at Triangle Productions. A sensitive, kimono-wearing gay guy and his militant communist cellmate, the story's odd couple, are played engagingly by Bobby Ryan and Nicholas Rodriguez. But they're upstaged, downstaged, and sidestaged by Boulé, who officially fills three roles—but one of her characters is an actress, playing six more roles on stage. Hence, Boulé is constantly coming and going in a flurry of costumes and wigs that could dizzy a drag queen. Amazingly, she does this with grace.
Boulé is no stranger to the Portland public. A former Oregonian columnist and news anchor, she can articulate with or without a script.
DEAD SEXY AFTER 60—"The Spider Woman has a slinky walk; she's extremely seductive, but also ominous and quite frightening. When she kisses someone, they die. In my early career I didn't get to be sexual; I was Maria, I was Marian the Librarian... these uptight, virginal roles. It's only once I've been cast in more mature roles that I've gotten to explore that side."
HOLLYWOOD INSIDER—"I'm basing Aurora on silver-screen actress Gloria Swanson, whom I had the opportunity to interview several times when I worked as a journalist."
PRESTO CHANGE-O—"It's so confusing! Who am I now, what do I wear, which accent do I use? I have a big chart backstage that tells me each character's name, each costume piece and wig and prop, and who I have to be next. The preview audience saw me walk out with one arm in and one arm out, and just a wig cap on... thank goodness we got a dresser and she's very good."
Kiss of the Spider Woman, Triangle Productions, The Sanctuary, 1785 NE Sandy, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Sept 29, $15-35, tripro.org