Golda's Balcony Extends One Last Time Off-Bway; What Light Thru Bway Window Breaks?

By Kenneth Jones
17 Jun 2003

Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir.
Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir.
Photo by Aaron Leichter

Tovah Feldshuh's reign as Golda Meir at the Off-Broadway nonprofit, Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, has been extended for the fourth time, producer Dave Fishelson told Playbill On-Line.

Golda's Balcony, the one-person play by William Gibson, has been sold out for every performance, Fishelson said, prompting the latest extension to July 13 and interest in a Broadway run. Fishelson said he's in negotiations for a Broadway house.

Golda's Balcony began previews on March 13 and opened March 26 to solid reviews for Feldshuh's committed performance. It soon extended to May 11 and several more times, most recently to July 6.

If and when the play moves to Broadway, it would be terra cognita for Feldshuh: She has earned three Tony Award nominations, for Yentl, Sarava and Lend Me a Tenor, and would be a shoo-in for a nom for Golda's Balcony. Observers says she has slipped into the skin of Meir, the late Israeli prime minister.

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With Golda's Balcony, MET has two hits based on the lives of renowned historical figures. Its first offering this season, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, about the troubled country singer and composer, was hailed and quickly transferred following an extended run. It is currently playing the Little Shubert Off-Broadway. (In fact, the runaway success of MET's first two shows caused the nonprofit to postpone its third selection until the 2003-04 season).

Golda's Balcony was originally derived from a different play by Gibson, Golda, a large-cast show which starred Anne Bancroft and played on Broadway in 1977. Gibson converted it into a one-person drama, which had a production at Shakespeare & Co. in the Berkshires last summer. The MET production is, furthermore, a different version than the one seen in Lenox, MA.

Scott Schwartz returns to MET after having staged The Castle there last season.

The design team of Golda's Balcony includes wig and hair designer Paul Huntley, set designer Anna Louizos, light designer Howell Binkley, costume designer Jess Goldstein, properties designer Kathy Fabian, and projection designer Robin Silvestri of Batwin + Robin Productions.

The MET space is at 55 Mercer Street in Manhattan. For information call (212) 925-1900.