Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ann (@AnnRichardsPlay) starring @HollandTaylor is a one woman tour de force!

Ann, Ann Richards, Holland Taylor, VIVIAN BEAUMONT THEATER, Lincoln Center,

Last week I got to see the new Broadway Musical,  Kinky Boots still in previews. which I reviewed HERE, and I also got the chance to see a one woman show called Ann that is currently running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.


ANN is a no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary governor of Texas. This inspiring and hilarious new play brings us face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Written and performed by Emmy® Award winner Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men"), ANN takes a revealing look at the impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family.

After playing throughout Texas to sold-out audiences, ANN went on to win critical acclaim both in Chicago and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. And now this extraordinary play comes to Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in a production directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein (resident director of War Horse).

En Espanol:

ANN es un retrato sin tapujos de Ann Richards, el legendario gobernador de Texas. Esta nueva obra inspiradora y divertida nos trae cara a cara con un personaje complejo, colorido y fascinante más grande que el estado de la cual ella aclamado. Escrita e interpretada por el ganador del Premio Emmy ® Holland Taylor (de la serie de television "Two and a Half Men"), ANN toma una mirada reveladora a la mujer apasionada que enriquece la vida de sus seguidores, amigos y familiares.

Después de jugar a lo largo de Texas para el público agotado, ANN se encendió para ganar elogios de la crítica en Chicago y en el Kennedy Center en Washington, DC. Y ahora esta extraordinaria obra viene a Lincoln Center Vivian Beaumont Theater en una producción había dirigida por Benjamin Endsley Klein (director residente de caballo de guerra).


Holland Taylor stars as Ann Richards and she is also the Playwright! I'm sure those who know Holland's backstory and credits, including her portrayal of Denise Cavanaugh on the long running Soap Opera, The Edge of Night where she played a character who killed herself, just to frame her husband, aren't surprised she could pull off the role of Ann Richards. I'm sure her role as Evelyn Harper in CBS's Two and a Half Men helped her to prepare, Holland certainly knows a thing or two about 'tough broads'.

She began researching, writing and producing a one-woman play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards in 2009.  The two-act play, which was originally titled Money, Marbles and Chalk, was first work-shopped in May 2010 at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas. It was later re-named Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards and opened in Chicago November 16, 2011, being billed as a "pre-Broadway" engagement.

The Real Ann Richards:

Texas Governor Ann Richards in 1992 - Photo Credit: @Wikimedia Commons

The Texas Governer Ann Richards (who was born Dorothy Ann Willis), attended Baylor University on a Debate scholarship and after earning her bachelor's degree she married her High School Sweetheart David Richards and moved to Austin where she pursued her teaching certificate from the University of Texas. She taught Social Studies and History. She campaigned for Texas liberals and progressives, and by the 1970's she was an accomplished Political Worker. She worked to elect Liberal Democrat Sarah Weddington and presented training sessions throughout the state on campaign techniques for women candidates and managers. She became the Travis County Commissioner, followed by Texas State Treasurer and then Richards famously became the 45th Governor of Texas.

My Take:

It takes an incredible amount of energy to pull off a one-woman/one-man show, I had amazing seats, and from my vantage point I was truly amazed to see the way Holland Taylor maintains such a powerful and strong energy throughout the entire performance.

This is an incredible labor of love and it shows in every scene. Whether you liked Ann Richards views as a politician or not, she was a pioneer and an amazingly strong woman who overcame incredible odds to succeed and to also help shatter that Glass Ceiling so that the women coming after her trying to build a Political Career had less hurdles to overcome. What Holland Taylor does is give us a very even-handed look into her life not just the politician, but the woman, the wife, the mother, the grand-mother, it's intimate, personal and holds nothing back. It would take a very strong woman to pull off that role and Holland Taylor succeeds on every level!

This play is raw and powerful and sometimes quite intense, but I can tell you as a Life Coach this is a goldmine of treasure, Ann Richards let NOTHING stop her, not even her own demons. She overcomes the obstacles, the odds and the naysayers and made change not just in her community but the world at large, she leaves an incredible legacy with the Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders, and whether your aspirations and goals are leading you toward a political career or a career in any field for that matter, just know that any effort you put your energy, passion and dedication to, WILL lead you to success!

I could relate to Ann on so many levels, many career counselors and school guidance counselors tried to urge me toward debate teams, law and later possibly politics, so learning about her career accomplishments were of great interest to me, but despite my academic advisors who were urging me toward Law/Politics and my original wishes toward Medicine, the universe ended up always pushing me into something that had to with writing, so Holland Taylor being the playwright for this in addition to the star has also given me powerful inspiration and incentive to pursue new facets of my writing! (Although I will say after watching Ann, I spent my birthday week away by the Beach briefly entertaining the notion that I should run for my local City Council seat, who knows, this play may have planted a more powerful seed in me than I know!)

Get Social:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Get the latest updates by following @AnnRichardsPlay via Twitter

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - You can also check out the latest news on their Facebook page (and you can press the video trailer above to go straight to the YouTube page).

Ascending Butterfly poses by the Ann signage!

Guess what else I have in common with Governor Ann Richards? If you guessed the same middle name, you get a gold star!

Joke: There was a terrier, Great Dane and a want to find out why the entire audience laughs out loud at this joke? Then go see Ann! :-)

Favorite Quotes: 'When You Rest, You Rust!" + "Trust that your wings will catch the wind"

After leaving the performance I had to catch this shot:

Lincoln Center Fountain at night! Check out the sign for Ann in the upper right hand  of the shot!

I definitely say 'Ticket' butterflies (Do NOT Miss this one!), and when you see it, please come back here and share your thoughts! 

˙•٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠•˙˙•٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠•˙˙•٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠•˙

FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received by Ascending Butterfly, we were provided only with our seats for editorial consideration. All Opinions are always 100% my own. Special thanks to Culture Mom Media, I LOVED THIS SHOW!


  1. Sounds like a fun event! I love her in Two 1/2 men!!

    1. @Maria - Definitely a great performance! I also love Holland as Evelyn Harper!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  2. Hip hip hooray for Ann Richards and all strong women who fight despite the cost for what they want!!! I hope all your dreams find there way to reality!

    1. @Big Happy Buddha - I very much agree with you, fighting for what you want in life despite the costs, risks and naysaysers is so important! The climb can sometimes get tiresome, but the view at the top of that mountain is ALWAYS so worth it!

      I wish you the same dear Buddha!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  3. I loved this play! It really made me feel empowered as a woman and a mother. Holland Taylor was wonderful. I loved how you broke your review down into different sections. Nicely done! Brava!