Ann Talman made her debut with her new one-woman musical cabaret, The Shadow of Her Smile, this spring at Feinstein's/54 Below.
Ann Talman is an accomplished performer. She is an actor, singer, storyteller, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and Broadway artist. The Shadow of Her Smile is her first show as a writer and performer at 54 Below. The show began as an idea that began four years ago and would be developed under the guidance of Lina Koutrakos and Musical director, Alex Rybeck. What a great combo! Together they are magic. The performance is graceful and elegant.
The narrative follows Talman's friendship with Elizabeth Taylor. They worked together in The Little Foxes on Broadway, where Talman played Taylor's daughter. From here, their friendship blossomed and developed into a tight bond that still lives on. The Shadow of Her Smile is a beautiful homage to Taylor while also being an enchanting storytelling performance of Talman's life.
The show follows a streamlined structure jumping between song and dialogue. She tells of how Elizabeth Taylor showed her how to reapply lipstick with a knife and the numerous conversations they had about life and fame. Talman also brings up her struggle with eating disorders. While a serious topic, it leads to some great lines such as, "life is more beautiful round" and "tofu is a real food and not something you made up when you were in a mood." She has a knack for witty and funny language, even when addressing such significant issues. Another such issue is the HIV/Aids epidemic. Elizabeth Taylor was amongst the first major celebrities to advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community during the HIV/AIDS crisis. She founded The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR).
The Shadow of Her Smile is a show of a beautiful story with songs about Ann Talman's and Elizabeth Taylor's close-knit bond, but it is so much more! Ann Talman is a charming storyteller that entices her audience with her illuminating smile and talent. She is a true master of her craft.
"The Shadow of Her Smile"
Written and Performed by Ann Talman
Directed by Lina Koutrakos
Musical direction by Alex Rybeck
Feinstein's - 54 Below (254 W 54th Street)
Yani Perez, M.F.A, is a poet, playwright, translator, and educator. Her plays have been presented in various theaters in the United States such as La Mama and Yale University as well as internationally in Bogotá, Colombia. She works at IATI Theater, one of the oldest Latinx theaters in NYC. She is currently working on translations of Latinx artists in hopes of introducing them to English-speaking audiences.