The Clintons, Gabrielle Giffords, Meryl Streep and More Visit Ann On Broadway, Starring Holland Taylor

By Adam Hetrick
March 13, 2013

Politics and theatre united March 12 at the Vivian Beamont Theater when former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited the Broadway production of Ann, about larger-than-life Texas Governor Ann Richards.



Holland Taylor, who wrote and stars in the piece, portrays the loquacious, non-nonsense politician who was the second woman elected as the governor of the Lone-Star State. Ann opened on Broadway March 7 after playing engagements in Texas, Chicago and Washington, DC. Critics embraced the production.

Last evening, the production was also embraced by some folks who knew Richards well – in addition to Taylor's  friends and colleagues. On hand at the performance were the Clintons; Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark E. Kelly; as well as Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep.

Taylor tweeted: "Proud night at ANN. President Clinton, Secy. of State Clinton Rep. Gabby Giffords -and, gasp, Meryl Streep- at show."

The evening turned slightly meta when Taylor, as Richards, engaged in a phone call with Bill Clinton who was president during the time the play is set. 

Clinton, who was close to Richards, offered the following statement about the performance: "Ann Richards was very special to me. This whole thing tonight was a gift."

Also in attendance were a group of ushers from the Kennedy Center, where Ann played last winter. The group took a bus to New York City from Washington, DC to surprise Taylor at the March 12 evening performance.

Taylor also tweeted: "AND a BIG group of wonderful Kennedy Center Ushers who traveled up from DC to see their own personal ANN. Joy 2nite."

Read the fall 2011 Playbill.com interview with Taylor, who spoke about Ann during the time of its Kennedy Center engagement. Or read the recent March 2013 Playbill magazine feature on Taylor and Ann.

Ann is currently scheduled to continue its Broadway run through June 9. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the play here.

Here's how Ann is characterized: "Holland Taylor steps into the shoes of Ann Richards, the impassioned Governor of Texas who dedicated her life to empowering, expanding and enriching the lives of her constituents, friends and family. Ann is an inspiring and hilarious new play that brings you face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Taylor takes the audience on a journey, neither political nor a history lesson, swirling together the past and present to reunite Ann Richards with old friends and introduce her to a new generation."

Tickets range $75-$125 and can purchased at the Vivian Beaumont Theater box office, online at lct.org or through Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200.