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  Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards at CIBC Theatre

Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards

CIBC Theatre
18 W. Monroe Chicago

Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards is a play in two acts that sprang from the desire to understand and reveal the essence of Ann Richards, the second female governor of Texas and a strong, independent, iconic Texan.

Thru - Dec 4, 2011

Price: $20-$85

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"..."A funny woman is tricky in politics, you know," says Taylor's knowing Richards, delivering the graduation speech at an imaginary Texan college that serves as the frame for a solo show that will flash back to the woman everyone called Ann in gubernatorial action. It's an interesting line, not least because there are two funny women in play here. There is Richards, whose barbed repertoire was formidable and yet who was rejected by the voters of Texas after just one term, proving her own point. And there is Taylor, who is best known for her work in such TV sitcoms as "Bosom Buddies" and, most recently, "Two and a Half Men," a show where the shenanigans must have led her to wish that Richards would come back to life and give Charlie Sheen a tongue-lashing, before putting her boot on his head."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...By the time Ann Richards became Governor of Texas in 1991 — triumphing in a place (“larger than the nation of France”) where politics is considered a contact sport — she had done many things. And Holland Taylor reminds us of many of them in “Ann,” her bristlingly smart, good ol’ girl funny, wholly captivating, self-penned one-woman show, now in its pre-Broadway edition at the Bank of America Theatre."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Recommended

"...Some audiences going in expecting more rough-and-tumble political combativeness in “Ann” might be disappointed that Taylor opts to show Richards to be so conciliatory to her rivals (particularly Bush). Taylor chooses an inspirational path to highlight the life of an extraordinary Texas woman who rose from poverty to a place of political power. So despite structural shortcomings in the script, “Ann” emerges as a personal triumph for Taylor to celebrate and commemorate Richards."
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Scott C. Morgan

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...There must be a half-dozen false endings in this strangely constructed two-and-a-half hour piece taking Richards from impoverished beginnings through alcoholism and divorce to glory as the pro-choice, anti-handgun, execution-staying governor of the Lone Star State. Taylor clearly can't bear to stop. I think she wants to give us the maximum possible dose of this classic New Deal Democrat, in the hope that Richards's subtlety of mind and generosity of heart will immunize us against the Rick Perrys and Michele Bachmanns of this vicious season. So it's all in a good cause. And the fact that Taylor is brilliant onstage helps considerably."
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Tony Adler

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"... Ms. Taylor is transformed into the Governor with the help of Paul Huntley’s shiny, white stylized “Republican hair” as well as Julie Weiss’ appropriately professional white wool suit. Zachary Borovay’s and Michael Fagin’s projections and fluid set lets the audience journey easily from university stage to the Governor’s headquarters and later to Manhattan. Funny and thought provoking, if a bit too long, this one-woman show wins by a landslide."

Colin Douglas

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... Taylor’s Richards says the best politicians connect with people and make them feel important, and when she winks at the crowd or cleans her fingernails onstage, she invites her listeners to get as comfortable as she is. Taylor flawlessly captures the Southern charm and bawdy sense of humor that made Richards an immediately likable and captivating politician."
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Oliver Sava

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Apart from its imaginary ending, in which the deceased woman reflects appreciatively on generous remembrances by her friends and colleagues, “Ann” draws from Richards’ public record and hours of conversations between the playwright and Richards’ family members and associates. But in no way, not for a moment, is this some sort of recap of a political career. It’s the vivid, bristling, earthy, often hilarious story of one extraordinary woman’s passionate engagement with life."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"... Holland Taylor’s one-woman show is as hilarious as it is overall fun. Taylor’s writing is very light, and generates an interesting sensation as we watch her step into the shoes of Ann Richards and give us a brief look into her way of life. “Ann” is presented in two acts with the first focusing on Ann Richards’ public appearance as she speaks to a high school graduating class somewhere in Texas. After a brief intermission, the second act examines Richard’s daily dealings as the Texan governor. Act two introduces Richards in a slightly different light as we witness her performing the day to day activities any prestigious political figure would perform."

Tyler Tidmore

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...I loved Ann Richards. I love Holland Taylor. I loved this show. It’s a powerful combo. I did get a little antsy in the end. I’m positive fifteen minutes could be trimmed. But then I’m torn because I get the impression the magnificent Ann Richards was a rambler. So shouldn’t her memorial be too?"
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...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!"
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"... There can never be enough shows about successful, professional women who stoop to conquer. In Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, Holland Taylor portrays a legendary steel magnolia with gusto and is a joy to watch. If only she’d stopped at two hours and left us wanting more."

Lauren Whalen

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