Ann Richards, the larger-than-life governor of Texas from 1991–1995, is lovingly brought to life on stage in a rousing performance by Holland Taylor in Ann at Vivian Beaumont Theater at New York's Lincoln Center that opens today. A dead ringer for Richards, Taylor, sporting the governor's trademarked helmet of white hair, inhabits the role so thoroughly that your suspension of disbelief simply becomes belief. Richards, as Taylor points out in the show, was not Texas's first female governor.
Poor Jessica Chastain. After playing Brad Pitt’s dazzling wife in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and a blonde bombshell in The Help, a few nasty voices on the stage of the Walter Kerr Theatre are calling her plain, simple, and witless. The newly anointed face of Yves Saint Laurent’s “Manifesto” fragrance simply shouldn’t listen to them. Everyone knows that Jessica Chastain is stunning—and that’s precisely the problem with Moisés Kaufman’s revival of Ruth and Augustus Goetz’ The Heiress.
Pioneering British thespian outfit, Punchdrunk, bring their singular brand of “immersive theater” to the States with this roaming, living, breathing real-time production of Macbeth. Played out within the dark confines of three converted warehouses on the west side of Manhattan’s Midtown, Sleep No More is a voyeuristic tumble down the rabbit hole into a nightmare of homicidal ambition and hedonistic fervor, in which you the nomadic viewer are in complete control over how, where, and when you experience the performance.
When Steve Jobs, beloved tech-god and idolized business mogul, died last October following a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer, satirical news outlet The Onion ran with the head: “Last American Who Knew What The F--- He Was Doing Dies.” In these turbulent, trying economic times, when the very idea of the American Dream itself seemed under siege and on the verge of collapse, Steve Jobs stood tall as a testament to the notion that if you simply married innovation with hard work then the world would be your oyster.
Over the last twenty-five years French Canadian outfit Cirque Du Soleil had steadily built itself up from an idiosyncratic acrobatic company to the premier circus troupe in the world, with a back catalogue of two-dozen unique shows, a permanent residency in Las Vegas, others planned in the UAE and Russia, and revenues somewhere in the region of half a billion dollars annually. Their latest endeavor is Zarkana, the first of a series of planned summer runs at New York City’s storied Radio City Music Hall, showing through the end of October before heading off to Moscow.
If New York winter is defined by the crisp falling snow and the slow-shuffle pilgrimage of shivering huddled masses to the Christmas tree outside Rockefeller Center, then summer is defined by images of Central Park as an endless green shore of beach towels and picnic blankets, and of course, Shakespeare in the Park. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of this annual tradition that The Public Theater can stage second, or, in this case, third tier offerings from The Bard and still have people lining up for tickets each day for five or six hours at a time.
Danielle Panabaker's Top Pop Picks
"I'm really into the Avett Brothers as of late."
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