Last week, actress Holland Taylor, who readers may know from television shows like Two and a Half Men (she plays Charlie Sheen’s and John Cryer’s mother), The Practice (for which she won an Emmy), and films like Baby Mama and Legally Blond, sat down with the Current to candidly discuss Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, a one-woman play she hopes the 45th Governor of Texas would “more or less” approve of.
I’m curious when and how you became fascinated with Ann Richards.
She was a figure in my life that was going to always be there; that was my plan. And then she died. And we needed her. We need her voice. I was just very unnaturally mournful, considering I didn’t know her.
So you never met her?
I did meet her, I had lunch with her, but I don’t understand people who say “I know someone” or “They’re my friend because I had lunch with them.” I didn’t know her. So my mourning seemed excessive, and some months later I realized I really had to do something creative about her ? in order to use up this energy. And then one day, I’m literally driving to work, and I was struck with the realization that she should be rendered in a stage play because she loved the theater. So it had a real reality to me, the idea of making a play that she would like. I think that is my task. I want to write a play that she would enjoy seeing ? about herself, and that she would say, “Oh, this girl’s got it more or less right.” This is a theater piece. This is not a history. It’s about her personhood.
How was the play received in Galveston?
Wonderfully ? from the minute we began. I think because there’s an enormous eagerness for her, to have a taste of her, the flavor of her, to be able to celebrate her. There’s a big appetite for her.
So are the plans to take it to Broadway?
Oh, well, you know, that’s where plays go if they have a life and if they become viable, and people enjoy them — they go to New York.
But we’re having a very good time in Texas. Texas is giving me everything. Texas is giving me Ann.
$27.50-$52.50, 7:30pm Fri, Dec 10; 2pm & 7:30pm Sat, Dec 11; 2pm Sun, Dec 12; 7:30pm Wed, Dec 15; 7:30pm Thu, Dec 16; 7:30pm Fri, Dec 17; 2pm & 7:30pm Sat, Dec 18; 2pm Sun, Dec 19, Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N St. Mary’s, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.
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