Posted by broadwaydevil 2013-02-19 15:14:29
Did the old thread get deleted? I want to hear everyone's thoughts. I actually managed to catch this in Chicago and thought Holland Taylor was phenomenal and the play was decent but I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on how it's playing now.
Posted by dramamama611 2013-02-19 15:17:39
Well, I'm pretty sure it's had one preview -- and that was last night.
Posted by iluvtheatertrash 2013-02-19 15:19:07
Taylor is wonderful and commanding, but the script drags on for too long. It would do well in a 90-minute intermissionless production. But I fear that if they don't make cuts it may not be as successful as it could be.
Posted by broadwaydevil 2013-02-19 15:19:14
Yes, I'm aware, so I'm quite confident at least some people have seen it. There was a thread yesterday but it appears to have been deleted.
Posted by egnarotsew 2013-02-19 15:47:01
I agree with what was said. Taylor is great as Richards but the play itself is too long. As I was leaving the theater I heard a few people say that they wished that the play focused more on her career and not a day in the life. I enjoyed it for the most part but I don't think it will last long.
Posted by bjh2114 2013-02-19 17:16:32
Wait, it's NOT intermission-less?
Posted by DAME 2013-02-19 17:39:15
I did not think much of it when I saw it in its original incarnation. And frankly.. I am surprised it is getting a NY production.
Posted by iluvtheatertrash 2013-02-19 17:42:03
It's not. It's just about two hours, with a ten-minute break. But it could EASILY be trimmed to a taut 90 minutes. And they'd be stupid not to.
Posted by chrisampm2 2013-02-19 19:16:35
Perhaps Ms Taylor likes having a break.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2013-02-19 23:05:12
I saw Ann tonight and Holland Taylor is wonderful, even if the play isn't on the level of her acting. It's kind of in the realm of Looped or even The Iron Lady: a good performance that gets bogged down by the murky material.
I think Ann could become a cut above Looped if they do some trimming and make it one act. As a previous poster said there's too much fat, and it needs to be trimmed. The final section after her term as governor ends goes on too long, and really is unnecessary altogether.
Taylor feels so natural in the role and you can tell she's very passionate about the piece. I have a feeling she wears that wig at home, or perhaps hosts dinner parties in character. She fills Ann's shoes like a well-worn glove.
The humor is folksy and genuinely funny, but not bust a gut hilarious. Taylor knows her way around quips and zingers, so that's fun to watch.
I did get caught up in Ann's political message and I can see why it was easy for people to like her and give her their vote. If Taylor ran for office I'd probably vote for her too.
Posted by BIG BALONEY 2013-02-20 00:07:53
She held her own tonight and did a fine job all alone on that large stage. The play moved quickly for me and ended at ten.I think the short interval was really needed for her to just rest for ten minutes. God luck with your show Holland Taylor, for you won me over.
Posted by RippedMan 2013-02-20 00:32:01
How were the tech elements? did they fill that big stage or use mostly just the apron?
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2013-02-20 09:24:09
The play is divided into several sections, and only one of them has a big set.
Ann begins with Taylor giving a commencement speech, and for this scene there simply a podium and some school banners flanking the proscenium.
Transitioning from the speech Taylor begins to speak about her early childhood and young married life. For this portion black and white projections are shown on a large screen behind her.
The final section of the first act is the start of her governorship. Her office set is large and comes forward on a track. I looks like the set to November if that helps.
Act Two picks up with governor's office set. The fourth section takes place in her New York office after 9/11. This set is only a desk and a chair.
The play wraps up by going back to the commencement speech.
Posted by RippedMan 2013-02-20 10:52:27
Thanks! Just wondering. Seems like an odd choice to put this in the Beaumont. And not put the Nathan Lane play in the bigger theater.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2013-02-20 11:03:03
I wasn't sitting in the mezz, but Taylor's performance manages to fill the space well.
Posted by Matt Rogers 2013-02-20 20:15:46
Why are you people always so obsessed that every damned thing should be 90 minutes and no intermission??? You're probably the same people who would eliminate an intermission from a classic three act play and jam two acts into one just so you can get home earlier. Sometimes things are structured for a reason, and it has nothing to do with your train schedule or attention span.
Posted by dwperkins 2013-02-23 01:24:53
I saw it on Wednesday night and loved it! The performance is so generous and spontaneous seeming. And it's so different from her role on 2 and a half men.
Posted by iluvtheatertrash 2013-02-23 08:10:38
Matt, I have sat through many marathons and some of my favorite plays are three hours or more. Your generalization is unfair.
The play is too long. It wanders. It needs to be trimmed, but if it is trimmed an intermission would seem pointless. On top of it all, the first twenty minutes of the second act are exactly the same as the last ten of the first act. So structure is not a reason.
Posted by SondheimFan5 2013-02-23 10:49:42
If a show is good (Long Day's Journey, Our Town, some Shakespeare works) who cares if it's 3-5 hours long? As long as it holds our attention. But if it drags along (like the new Cinderella, or apparently like this), then it needs a little tweaking.
Does she have any ghostwriters on this piece too? Apparently she wwrote it herself?
Posted by broadwaydevil 2013-02-23 19:35:56
Agreed. I've sat through 90 minute intermissionless shows that have dragged and felt like forever (American Idiot most recently) and I've sat through three hour plus shows that have flown by (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.)
In Chicago, and from what I've read the changes aren't substantial so I doubt I'll be going back, the show is way too long and completely loses focus. This is one where not having an intermission and trimming a solid 20 minutes would help significantly. That said I can appreciate the need for an act break to give Ms. Taylor some rest seeing as it is a one woman show. However, that doesn't detract from the point that the show's still too long.
Posted by A Director 2013-02-23 22:30:32
Ann is better than the last Broadway play Ms Taylor appeared in.
Posted by FindingNamo 2013-02-23 22:46:17
"Does she have any ghostwriters on this piece too?"
Yes, they're listed in alphabetical order on the window card. Unlike the last piece, in which they were listed in order of appearance.
Posted by Auggie27 2013-02-23 23:32:35
This show's placement in the Beaumont baffles. Master Class would be lost in the Beaumont (maybe), and it's about Maria Callas. Richards' profile and persona, larger than life to be sure, aren't Beaumont larger; more Golden or Booth larger. I wish this well, because both the fascinating subject and the gifted actor are sublime. But from a producing standpoint, an oddity, in a bizarre venue for 2013.
Posted by SondheimFan5 2013-02-24 02:06:14
Well it can't cost too much to run, so I'm sure if they sell even 1/3 to 1/2 of the theatre, they will more than cover the operating cost. Didn't someone say on another thread that another play was supposed to go into the Beaumont but it was cancelled abruptly?
Posted by broadwaydevil 2013-02-24 02:32:37
LCT is working on a production of The King and I which supposedly was supposed to be ready for this spring but has now been pushed back to the fall at the earliest. It's pretty clear Ann is being used as filler for what would otherwise be an empty theatre since LCT doesn't have anything else ready. I don't think anyone is expecting Ann to sellout the Beaumont.
Posted by henrikegerman 2013-02-24 09:13:31
Sunday morning syllogism:
By all reports Taylor is playing Richards to the hilt.
Ann Richards famously held huge convention halls in the palm of her hand.
Therefore, one would think Taylor's Ann should be quite at home at the Beaumont.
Ok, fire away at my logic. Go.
Posted by Pammylicious 2013-02-26 16:41:41
Just got tickets for tomorrow evening....what is the running time now? Thanks.
Posted by lightguy06222 2013-02-26 17:20:08
ill post thoughts after tonights performance... as well as runtime.
Posted by lightguy06222 2013-02-27 12:38:03
Show was 2 hours. with a 10-15 intermission
MAYBE SPOILERS? who knows, im just gonna talk...
Holland Taylor is an incredible actress. She really embodied the role. Brilliant work.
But a mediocre show.
I think it was pretty well written, it just needs cuts. The intermission was completely unnecessary. I like two act shows, but when the story NEEDS it.
This show should be 90 minutes. Its got enough solid material to entertain the audience for that long. But with the intermission, and about 30 min of unnecessary fluff material, the show drags.
My biggest question, even after WATCHING the show, is...
Why should I care? What did Ann Richards DO to make me care? What did she DO to be impactful on the world? What did she DO to deserve a 2 hour play at lincoln center?
I cant find an answer... She was a strong, texas woman. Brash, demanding, powerful, yet kind in her own way. Taylor is spot on with her portrayal of the character.
But the woman didn't DO anything worthy enough of sitting for 2 hours watching a show about her life. I totally got the idea in the first act.
I would have walked out at intermission, had I not run into a friend... I got the jist, I was entertained, and I didnt feel like the show was worthy of another hour of my time.
It also had 3 endings, and the audience FEELS like the show is ending.
She is ending her term as governor, and gives a beautiful final line of the show, and the set starts to track backwards with her on it, and the audience is ready to applaud....But she continues on.
The stage gets dim, and cool, and menacing, And she talks about how she dies... and then she continues on.
and we wind up back at the commencement. WHY? she just explained how she dies... we get it, the entire show stems from the idea that shes giving a speech at a commencement. you dont need to go BACK to the commencement at the end, and have Ann conclude her speech, thank the audience, and walk off... not a very powerful ending.