Lynn Nottage has acknowledged that her brutal and richly textured play, Ruined, owes a debt to Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage. Like Mother Courage, Mama Nadi profits from violence and war: She's the owner of a brothel. But where Mother Courage worships profit alone, placing it above even her love for her children, Mama Nadi is more nuanced, and fiercely protective of her girls — as long as their well-being doesn't threaten her own. And "fierce" is exactly the right word to describe Kim Staunton's performance in the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of Ruined. She was electrifying. She made Mama Nadi passionate, tough and full of rage, but also capable of tenderness and even — in the midst of abject horror — tiny moments of the purest frivolity.