View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Tovah, Golda, and Me

Went to go see "The Making of 'Golda's Balcony'" at a Federation fundraiser last night. Let's just say that "Golda's Balcony" is the show; "The Making of..." is the HBO advertising special. Tovah sings! Tovah Act! Tovah prances! (Yes, really.) The show couldn't decide if it was about her, Golda, her & Golda, or the show it was supposed to be about.

She had a couple of good songs (Billy Joel, Carly Simon), some latter-day-Broadway songs (Andrew "As a Lyricist, He's a Fine Composer" Lloyd Weber), and some truly awful stuff (Tovah Feldshuh). Golda was from Milwaukee. Now, if you're going to try to rhyme that city, you're left with sqwaky, gawky, and talky. She used two of them. (If you're into baseball, there's also balky and Yawkey, but I don't think Golda spent a lot of time listening to the Red Sox on the shortwave.)

As for the jokes, it was like a traditional wedding: something old, something new, a whole lot borrowed and a little blue. She did a little 10-minute riff on her grandmother, which wasn't nearly as funny to me as it might have been 10 years ago, or if my grandparents had been Yankees. I did learn a little about Golda herself, although nothing that a 2-hour visit to the House wouldn't have taught me.

It wasn't exactly clear why we had to sit through an hour of Tovah's Baloney rather than "Golda's Balcony." The Rocky gave some vague excuse about the show being on Broadway. Do theaters purchase exclusive rights to shows? Are they afraid that people won't add the modest price of an airline ticket to the exorbitant cost of the theater ticket if they can get it at home? I can't imagine it was the set or the costuming: it's a one-man show, for crying out loud. Hal Holbrook has been Mark Twain for longer than Mark Twain was Mark Twain, with nothing but a white suit and a pocketwatch. I'm sure we could have rustled up some blue velvet and a green formica table.

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