Golda's Balcony to Begin National Tour in September 2005 | Playbill

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News Golda's Balcony to Begin National Tour in September 2005 Golda's Balcony, the one-woman play by William Gibson about Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, which has been playing on Broadway since October, will launch a national tour of 20 weeks or more in September 2005.
Tovah Feldshuh in her award-winning performance in Golda's Balcony
Tovah Feldshuh in her award-winning performance in Golda's Balcony Photo by Aaron Epstein

The schedule of cities and dates is yet to be announced. The Booking Group is organizing the tour.

Tovah Feldshuh stars in the Broadway engagement, which began Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, where it extended several times.

Whether Feldshuh will tour with the title—her biggest success as an actor in many years—is not known. Also uncertain is the future of the Broadway production. Golda's Balcony has performed steadily. Still, as for most straight plays on Broadway, much depends on it securing a Tony nomination for Best Play. Recent ads have trumpeted the reception of Gibson's text, focusing attention more on the property as a written play than on Feldshuh's much praised performance. Golda's Balcony's competition for Best Play laurels includes Frozen, I Am My Own Wife, Anna in the Tropics, The Retreat from Moscow, Prymate, Match and Sixteen Wounded.

Golda's Balcony began its stay at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Oct. 15, after previews from Oct. 3.

The play was praised during its Off-Broadway run at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre for its timeliness—in respect to the continuing troubles between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East—and for Feldshuh's fiercely committed performance as Israel's first and only woman prime minister. The play shows an aged Meir in a high stakes game of international chicken, playing the United States, United Nations and the Arab world off each other in order to avoid what looks like Israel's destruction during the 1973 war. Between taking urgent phone calls, she reflects on her childhood in Milwaukee, her failed marriage and her role in founding the Jewish state.

The title refers to a perch from which Meir watched the progress of Israel's nuclear bomb program at the Dimona reactor. At the time of the war, speculation was high about the country's nuclear capabilities. The play posits—and some historical accounts confirm—that Israel had bombs ready and loaded on planes aimed at Egypt.

Feldshuh has earned three Tony Award nominations, for Yentl, Sarava and Lend Me a Tenor, but she hadn't been on Broadway since 1990.

As for playwright Gibson, it is his first Broadway credit since writing the book to the short-lived 1986 musical Raggedy Ann. His biggest successes were, of course, the late-50s hits Two for the Seesaw and The Miracle Worker.

Scott Schwartz directs.


The one-person play by William Gibson started performances at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre way back on March 13. Following its opening on March 26, to solid reviews, it extended several times.


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 in summer 2002. The MET production is, furthermore, a different version than the one seen in Lenox, MA.

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