Martha Plimpton, three time Tony nominee and a stand-out in the otherwise ignoble revival of Pal Joey a couple seasons back, is finding new success in television. She had been making some guest appearances on shows, but is now starring in the new series Raising Hope which has become one of the new hits of the season. Airing at 9PM on Fox, the series is about a white trash family whose son finds himself with a baby after a one night stand with a crazed serial killer. In spite of that description it’s a rather sweet show – and all the peril the baby finds itself in is smoke and mirrors.
Plimpton plays a 39 year old grandmother. Cloris Leachman her sometimes lucid, sometimes naked grandmother (known as “Maw-Maw”). Garret Dillahunt is a comic wonder as Plimpton’s immature husband Burt. Lucas Neff, a Chicago-based theatre actor, is having a career breakthrough as the show’s lead Jimmy. It’s a superb ensemble and a very funny show, to boot.
Martha’s singing ability shouldn’t be that much of a surprise – her parents Shelley Plimpton and Keith Carradine met while performing in Hair on Broadway. Her mother was starring in the show while pregnant with Martha. But nevertheless, folks were surprised when she came out onstage in Pal Joey as Gladys and belted her way through the mock strip tease showstopper “Zip.”
The star made an appearance on Saturday night at the World Series in Arlington, Texas to sing “God Bless America.” One qualm though. Last year’s deciding game 6 featured a stunning performance of the song by Kelli O’Hara, but a commercial was shown in its stead. That’s a problem that I hope the Fox network has fixed. Meanwhile, here’s Martha…