Valerie Harper to Play Meir in Golda's Balcony Tour

News   Valerie Harper to Play Meir in Golda's Balcony Tour
Valerie Harper will play the title role in the national tour of William Gibson's Golda's Balcony.

Patty Duke was originally announced to headline the tour, which is to begin at Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse on Oct. 18, where it will stay for three weeks. No reason for her departure was given.

Harper, best known for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," has appeared on the stage in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and All Under Heaven.

The tour will play for 26-plus weeks, through May 14, 2006, and will make stops in Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Tempe, AZ, Hartford, Cincinnati, Columbus, Milwaukee and Toronto. Other cities and dates will be announced in the future.

Scott Schwartz will repeat his directorial duties.

Harper will play Israel's fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir, the part played by Tovah Feldshuh Off-Broadway and on Broadway. Feldshuh left the one-person show on Jan. 2, 2005, and with her went the Gibson play, which began playing the Helen Hayes Theatre on Oct. 3, 2003. She went on to play an engagement of the play at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles.  

During the 90-minute, intermissionless show, Harper will appear in heavy makeup to make her resemble former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and play 30 characters and never leave the stage.

Golda became the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history on Oct. 3, 2004.

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