PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Nov. 24-30: Miss Firecracker Is Heading to Broadway; Dead Accounts Opens

By Robert Simonson
30 Nov 2012

Holland Taylor in Ann.
Photo by Digitalegacy

Holland Taylor, a fine actress who has been a bright spot in many a bad play (Moose Murders) and bad television shows ("Two and a Half Men"), is going to get some well-deserved star treatment. Taylor is the star of Ann, a biographical play about late Texas Governor Ann Richards. It will begin Broadway previews Feb. 18, 2013, prior to the previously announced opening date of March 7 at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Bob Boyett and Harriet Newman Leve will produce the play in association with Lincoln Center Theater. Benjamin Endsley Klein directs. Taylor herself wrote the play.

Ann previously played successful runs at Galveston's Grand 1894 Opera House in the summer of 2010, San Antonio's Empire Theatre in fall 2010, Austin's Paramount Theatre in spring 2011, Chicago's Bank of America Theatre in fall 2011, and Washington, DC's Kennedy Center in winter of 2011-12.

Ann Richards, who died in 2006, was Texas' second female governor, serving from 1991 to 1995. She was beaten out of a second term by some guy named Bush. Or, as Richards herself said, "some jerk" named Bush.


Arye Gross and Isabella Acres in Coney Island Christmas.
photo by Michael Lamont

Coney Island Christmas, billed as a "Jewish Christmas show," by Donald Margulies, opened Nov. 28 following previews from Nov. 20 at Geffen Playhouse. The play tells of a young Jewish girl who, much to her immigrant parents' exasperation, is cast as Jesus in the school's Christmas pageant. The resident theatre hopes it will become an annual seasonal production.

So, will it? Variety thinks so, saying, "It turns out to be a present no one will want to take back. As with many gifts, the wrapping isn't much to speak of, in this case a weak framing narrative taken from a Grace Paley short story. But what's inside - not one but two kid pageants superbly staged by Bart DeLorenzo, and a pan-denominational message - is a jewel to be cherished."


Has playwright Sarah Ruhl written a The Barretts of Wimpole Street for the 21st century?

This week, Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth, a play in letters from Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell, debuted at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

Bishop and Lowell were both Massachusetts-born poets. They became friends in 1947 and stayed friends until Lowell died in 1977. Bishop died two years later.

Jefferson Mays and Mary Beth Fisher co-star in the world premiere.


Finally, one climbs the Chrysler Building. One climbs the Empire State. They both want the climb inside the Foxwoods.

The New York Times reported that the producers of the Australian-bound King Kong are eyeing the Foxwoods Theatre, which currently houses the high-flying musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, as an ideal venue for the large-scale production. The producers of Spider-Man say they ain't budging, however. A 2014 New York bow for King Kong is being discussed.

Spidey vs. King Kong. Sounds like a good story. Maybe they could share the theatre?