This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

4Apr/13

ANN

Ann Richards

Holland Taylor stars as Ann Richards in one-woman show she also wrote

Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater
150 West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.
Tuesday - Saturday through June 9, $75-$125
212-362-7600
www.lct.org
www.theannrichardsplay.com

Fiery politician Ann Richards was a true star, giving a memorable keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention and later serving as governor of Texas. Emmy-winning actress Holland Taylor (The Practice, Two and a Half Men) embodies the dedicated reformer in the one-woman show Ann, which she also wrote. Based on six years of intensive research, Ann opens with Taylor, wearing an eye-catching white suit and Richards’s trademark white coiffure, as Ann delivering an address at a fictional college, the audience standing in for the student body. She depicts Richards as an engaging, entertaining, very smart, and open and honest woman not afraid to speak her mind about her professional and personal life, including discussing her severe alcoholism and painful divorce. The play, directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein (resident director of War Horse), slows down considerably when Richards is in her gubernatorial office, answering multiple phone calls, yelling for her assistant, and shuffling through papers. Although it’s meant to show her as a bold and brash administrator fighting for the little person, it’s repetitive and not nearly as interesting as when she’s reflecting on her life and career directly with the audience. The play comes alive again when she returns to the podium, discussing her battle with cancer and hope for the future of America. Taylor is dazzling as Richards, capturing the spirit and dedication of a sharp, brave woman who was determined to make a difference and did. In an author’s note, Taylor writes that Richards is “someone I do think of now as a friend I know pretty well, and love”; after two hours, the audience is bound to feel the same.

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