By Harry Haun
08 Mar 2013
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Lincoln Center Theater's sprawling Vivian Beaumont Theater was last populated by a cast of 37 and two War Horses, each made of cane and manipulated by three puppeteers. On March 7, that stage was filled to capacity by a solitary, pint-sized playwright-actress of five-foot-four, passing for a political legend "probably five-foot-two — with hair."
This is Holland Taylor's Ann — as in Ann Richards, who upended Texas politics in the '90s and became the 45th governor of the Lone Star State from 1991 to 1995, before being put out to pasture by future United States President George W. Bush.
Plain-spoken, abrasive and fast on the drawl, Taylor's Richards shoots from the lip throughout, winning the audience over with words that are often wise ("If you rest, you rust") but usually "risky" ("That guy couldn't organize a circle jerk").
The bio-play evolves into four or five set pieces, commencing with a somewhat salty commencement address. Then, the podium recedes, and a governor's office slides forth. That surrenders to a New York apartment where Richards conspicuously retired from politics (but not from speaking her mind). The final section is in a kind of tentative limbo where she attempts to lick The Big C and attends her own funeral.Continued...