Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Matthew Lombardo will present four-time Tony Award-nominee Tovah Feldshuh (pronounced Feld-shoo), who will recreate her award-winning performance as Golda Meir in the 10th anniversary production of Golda’s Balcony. Tickets are now on sale for the acclaimed William Gibson play, which will be part of the WinterStage Season at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, from now through January 26 (this weekend only).
Supervised by Scott Schwartz, Golda’s Balcony earned Ms. Feldshuh a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress and, from 2003–2005, became the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history.
The play is a portrait of the indomitable Meir, the Milwaukee schoolteacher who became Prime Minister of Israel in 1969. From the pogroms of Russia to the halls of the Knesset, Meir’s life – and the play – encapsulates the dramatic story of Israel in the 20th Century.
“We are delighted to have Tovah return to the Parker Playhouse and to take part in our WinterStage series,” Lombardo said. “Her portrayal of Golda Meir in this production is legendary and we are so excited to present this originating Broadway performance to Fort Lauderdale audiences.”
For her work on the New York stage, from Yentl to Saravà! to Lend Me A Tenor to Golda’s Balcony, Ms. Feldshuh has earned four Tony Award nominations for Best Actress and won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Obie, the Theatre World Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress (for Golda’s Balcony).
It was a pleasure to sit down with Tovah for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
How does it feel to have starred in the longest running one-woman show on Broadway?
Fabulous, and as I get older, more and more fabulous. Just to be able to do it eight times a week for 16 months, and then on the road across the world, was amazing. I am so looking forward to coming to Florida in this very bizarre weather pattern we are having now in New York.
You have received 11 major awards from the theater (and many more nominations). How does it feel to be honored so much?
I never thought about it until just now. I have always tried to be good at what I do and do it to the best of my ability. I hold myself to a high standard and then I try and surpass that. Therefore, Golda’s Balcony will be better than it has ever been.
The journey towards excellence is a journey towards specific and where it ignites. What are the impulses inside the spark that makes you strongly react to it? What are the words that make you have an emotional reaction (positive or negative) towards them? Great acting is what we take in versus what we give out. We then respond to those impulses. I am 10 years older now. My mom was 92 when I did Golda’s Balcony, she is now going to be 103.
So to be acknowledged for my work, what I love and what I was called to do is quite humbling.
You are very well known for the theater, but you have also done a lot of television and film. I won’t ask you what’s your favorite, but can you compare them for me?
It’s like having different children, you love them all. As I grow older I want to do more film and television. In many respects they are physically less taxing than theater. Film and TV are generally like the sprint, theater is like the marathon.
What people may not know is that you taught at many universities including NYU, Cornell and Yale. How did this come about, and tell me about the experience?
I LOVED IT. My brother is a professor. He was the head of the theater at Cornell for over 25 years. I think we teach the way we want to be taught and undo unkindness that was done to us. My first teacher, Uta Hagen, was incredibly kind. She would never criticize us, she would just redirect us. She would say “that’s interesting, why don’t we try it this way.” I wish I could teach more often!
How does it feel coming back to the Parker Playhouse?
I did a comedy over 10 years ago at Parker Playhouse where I made a ton of money for the producer who also owned the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway. I asked him to use his venue for Golda’s Balcony. He was hesitant, as there were many other shows ahead of me that wanted that venue. I was able to convince him by promising him he wouldn’t regret it. For 16 months we were good for the Helen Hayes, and I kept my promise. Therefore the Parker Playhouse has a special place in my heart.
After many years, what is it like coming back to the iconic role of Golda Meir?
I don’t know yet, I only know what I expect of myself. I like Golda and am weighed down with the privilege of what’s being asked of me to do. I expect the very best of myself for one of the best roles of my career. As every person in the audience only deserves my very best. One of the great joys of being on the stage was understanding my unadulterated love of other human beings. I love the campfire of which we gather to hear a story well told, which is the theater and I love participating in that story.
Performance times for Golda’s Balcony are: Thursday, January 23 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, January 26 at 1 and 7 p.m.
Individual tickets are $28, $46.50 and $66.50 with discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more priced at $26, $42 and $60. Tickets and group discounts are available at (954) 462-0222, or select a seat online at ParkerPlayhouse.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at the Parker Playhouse box office Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.