Martha Plimpton: From “The Goonies” to Shakespeare


I’ve been a Martha Plimpton fan for as long as I can remember. Ever since she played a tomboy in The River Rat (1984), I’ve just felt, well, fond of her. With a resume that includes The Goonies, The Mosquito Coast and Running on Empty — plus a whole lotta theater, including the much celebrated (and much lamented) The Coast of Utopia — she’s worked steadily and seriously since her (and my) teens. But I’m getting ahead of myself: How could you not love her in The Goonies?

And here she is in 2001 at the Goonies cast reunion:

Some people really do improve with age. But Plimpton’s move from screen to stage has resulted in significantly less publicity than she got back in the ’80s, so I was glad to see her profiled in the Aug. 1–7 issue of Time Out New York.

This summer, Plimpton takes on the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the article notes,

The role fits into the niche Plimpton has carved out for herself … Plimpton has transmuted her saucy teen persona into a figure of regal bearing, larger-than-life humor and a flair for dense language. [S]he’s one of those rare stage creatures whose gutsy, flamboyant performances work best live.

But what if you can’t see her live? Even if you live in New York, it’s no simple feat to get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. Never fear: You can witness some of her brilliance on her MySpace page. It includes a marked-up page of Midsummer, as well as photos of greats like Gena Rowlands and Gilda Radner. And she writes about all kinds of good stuff there, like Swedish bands. But if you want to be her friend, take heed: “Sorry, but no pervs, aspiring pervs or people posing as pervs. If you have a lot of half-naked floozies on your page, I prolly won’t add you. Actually, I definitely won’t add you. Even if it’s ‘ironic.’ Except for Gary, who is a perv but hilarious. “

Take a look, and also check out Plimpton’s Fuzz page. But don’t expect her to keep blogging and acting at such a crazed pace. In the TONY article, Plimpton puts the perfect punctuation on her busy summer:

“My immediate plan after we close is to go to Puerto Rico and take some f—ing vacation,” Plimpton says with a laugh. “Because my butt is getting tired.”

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