Tuesday May 30th 2017

“Ann”

Many of us know Holland Taylor from her solid television and movie work( she is the mother on “Two and a Half Men”) and now we get to see another side of this amazingly talented woman. I have recognized her work in the past for her dry humor and her beauty, but now, in her one woman show “Ann” , a tribute to Ann Richards, the one term Governor of Texas, which she also wrote, I was able to see the pure depth of the talent she has. Governor Richards was a unique woman in that she was a character, larger than life in the world of politics; a housewife, mother and grandmother who had a great impact on the people of her state in just one term.

Stepping into her shoes for this two hour tribute was no easy task, to be sure. Ms Taylor, a sleek and stylish woman, in order to convert into Ms Richards has to look heavier and older and has to have a Southern drawl that appears very real. After a few moments, we feel that we are indeed peering into the woman that was Ann Richards. In fact, Ms Taylor truly transforms her entire being into this role. After years of doing interviews, reading personal papers and watching film footage, she was able to get “into” this woman and this is conveyed with great style in this smart and funny production directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein on the stage of The Bank of America Theatre as part of The Broadway In Chicago series. This is pure magic as we start the story at a college graduation where Ann is the keynote speaker. She begins to tell us about her goals and aspirations and how she rose to be elected as the Governor and slowly we are brought into the past, in her stately office ( scenic designer Michael Fagin’s office set is quite powerful. There are no other characters in the play with the exception of some off stage voices of her secretary- this is Ms Taylor’s show!

During the second part of the first act, we watch her transform into the past and then take her “potty break” ( this is our intermission). When we come back, we witness her communication ( all one sided) with President Clinton, her children, her clerk and others, all by telephone as she prepares to offer a stay of execution against the wishes of many.We see the caring and the concern for her state and her constituents as well as her family and her employees. This truly was a woman who cared. She was not re-elected, but went on to do consulting work and toured as a speaker and was on a great many TV talk shows, before it was discovered that she had cancer and we learn about her last days. The projection work by Zachary Borovay and the lighting by Matthew Richards add just the right touch and the choice of music used is beautiful and powerful ( Nat King Cole’s “Waht a Wonderful Life” and as the lights dim on a painting of “Ann”, John Lennon’s “Imagine”).

This is a solid production that will play here  through December 4th  with performances as follows:

Tuesday-Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m.,Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range in price from $20 and are on sale at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices or by visiting www.BroadwayInChicago.com

The Bank of America Theatre is located at 18 West Monroe

Leave a Comment

ITEX.com

More from category

“Harvey” reviewed by Carol Moore
“Harvey” reviewed by Carol Moore

Highly Recommended **** Kudos to Court Theatre for bringing back one of my favorite classic comedies, “Harvey”. [Read More]

“St. Jude”  Up close and Personal
“St. Jude” Up close and Personal

I have now seen all three of the Up Close and Personal Series productions at Victory Gardens Theater. The third, [Read More]

“The My Way Residential”  reviewed by Carol Moore
“The My Way Residential” reviewed by Carol Moore

Recommended *** I really enjoyed the Irish Theatre Chicago production of “The My Way Residential”.  Putting a [Read More]

“Time Stands Still”  reviewed by Jeffrey Leibham with editor’s notes
“Time Stands Still” reviewed by Jeffrey Leibham with editor’s notes

Recommended*** The title of the Donald Margulies play “Time Stands Still” would perhaps be more accurate if [Read More]

Great Expectations
Great Expectations

Highly Recommended ****  What happens when a classic story, in fact, not just a classic, but a Dickens’ classic, is [Read More]