Tuesday, June 26 @ 7:30pm | Tickets: $25
Written by William Gibson | Directed by Judy Braha
Featuring Bobbie Steinbach, Golda’s Balcony follows Golda Meir from her humble beginnings as a Wisconsin school teacher to her meteoric rise through Israel’s early political system, becoming one of the world’s first elected female heads of state and one of the most influential women in Israel’s history.
Broadway applauded this reworking of the author’s 1977 play into a complex one-woman tour-de-force. This tight-knit story of war and peace opens in 1973, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, and uses flashbacks to let Golda tell the story of her life: her journey from her birthplace in Russia to the United States where she settled in Milwaukee, became a school teacher and married. She describes her role as a socialist Zionist, her emigration to Palestine in 1921, the birth of her two children and the breakup of her marriage. These details form an intriguing backdrop for a dramatic look at idealism, power and the strength it takes to shape the destiny of a nation.
Steinbach commands your attention throughout “Golda’s Balcony.’’ Her Meir is a portrait in steel forged by fire, yet entirely human, too, brutally honest about her own failings and about the personal toll taken by her responsibilities as a stateswoman and her devotion to the state of Israel. Steinbach is most compelling when Meir is wrestling with the moral and ethical dilemma she confronts during the Yom Kippur War, especially after she puts Israel on nuclear alert. That step, she knew, could spell catastrophe and even spiral into a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. “What happens when idealism becomes power? It kills,’’ she says. “To save a world you create — and this is the terrible question — how many worlds are you entitled to destroy?’’ Boston Globe, Don Aucoin
Whatever your feelings are about Golda Meir, Bobbie Steinbach’s performance is not to be missed. …this is really an amazing performance. Steinbach not only portrays Meir, but a host of politicians – Moshe Dayan, Kissinger, Peres, among others – with voices so distinct that one can tell who is who just by the accent and inflection. But Steinbach smokes, paces, cracks the occasional joke, and occasionally makes us weep. She doesn’t play Golda Meir, she is Golda Meir. And this, theatergoing friends, is what makes theater art. Theater Mirror, Michele Markarian
Steinbach is nothing if not in control of the character and her surroundings. A small-size woman wrapped in a period dress and smoking countless cigarettes, she inhabits the square figure of Meir with authority, intelligence, and passion during the 100-minute monologue. Iris Fanger, Theatermania
Bobbie Steinbach’s resume as an actress needs no burnishing but here she adds a studied, skilled, and measured portrayal of Meir to go along with her recent turn as Yentl in “Fiddler on the Roof” at the New Rep and other fine efforts in musicals such as “Sunday in the Park with George” and “A Little Night Music.” Rick Fahey, On Boston Stages
BOBBIE STEINBACH* has been a longtime member of Boston’s amazing theatre community as actor, director, cabaret performer and acting coach. Bobbie is a Founding Member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project and a Resident Actor with the company. She has performed in many of ASP’s productions, including Cassius in Julius Caesar (Elliot Norton nomination Outstanding Actress), The School for Scandal, Phedre, Richard III, Twelfth Night, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Coriolanus, Othello, Timon of Athens, Henry IV, Troilus and Cressida; Huntington Theatre Company: A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Rose Tattoo, Dead End, The Corn is Green; New Repertory Theatre: Golda’s Balcony (IRNE Award Best Actress), Fiddler on the Roof, Tongue of a Bird, Collected Stories (IRNE Award, Best Actress, Eliot Norton Award Nomination, Outstanding Actress), The Clean House, Romeo and Juliet, A Girl’s War (IRNE Award Best Supporting Actress), The Waverly Gallery, Stonewall Jackson’s House (Eliot Norton Award Outstanding Actress); Lyric Stage Company: Light Up the Sky, Follies, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Little Night Music, Arms and the Man, Spitfire Grill, Over the River and Through the Woods, Assassins; Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre: Deported/a dream play; Stoneham Theatre: It’s A Wonderful Life, Rimers of Eldritch, A Prayer for Owen Meany; Speakeasy Stage Company: Anna in the Tropics; Christmas Revels at Sanders Theatre. Directing credits: Shakespeare Now! Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth; Boston Conservatory: Our Town; New Repertory Theatre Touring Company: The Diary of Anne Frank. In 2015 The Theatre Communications Guild honored Bobbie with a two-year Resident Actor Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, for which she partnered with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and developed a company project, I Am Lear, and a solo show, In Bed With the Bard. She is also the 2016 Huntington Theatre Company’s Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. Bobbie is an acting coach working mainly with high school students, preparing them for their college theatre auditions. Upcoming shows: Calendar Girls at Greater Boston Theatre Company, 1776 at New Rep and 12th Night ASP/Lyric Stage. WWW.BOBBIESTEINBACH.COM *Member Actors’ Equity Association
Judy Braha has been a director, teacher, actor and arts advocate in New England for over three decades. Head of the M.F.A. Directing Program at Boston University’s School of Theater for over ten years and faculty member in the BFA Acting Program for over twenty, she most recently collaborated extensively with the BU Prison Education program as a guest artist in Andre De Quadros’ groundbreaking class, Empowering Song and created the BU College of Fine Arts Collaborative Arts Incubator with de Quadros and Jeanette Guillemin. Braha’s teaching and guest artist credits also include Brandeis University, Emerson College, Yale University International Conference in Choral Conducting, Mount Holyoke College, M.I.T., Northeastern, Wheaton College, Trinity Rep. Conservatory, Suffolk University and the Boston University Summer Theater Institute. Professionally, she directed regionally at many theaters including Actors Shakespeare Project, Boston Center for American Performance, Merrimack Repertory Theater, New Repertory Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Huntington Theater Company, Boston Playwrights Theater, Nora Theater Company. As a founding member of The New Ehrlich Theater, Braha directed many award winning productions including Bent, The Fifth of July and House of Blue Leaves, paving the way for the theater renaissance in Boston’s South End. Ms. Braha directed Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight for the Nora Theater, Our Class and The Road to Mecca for BCAP, Othello for ASP, Water By The Spoonful for BU/ SOT and Joyce Van Dyke’s new plays Deported/ a dream play and The Oil Thief for the Boston Playwright’s Theater. The Oil Thief won an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Play in 2009 as well as Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonite winning Lee Mikeska Gardener a Norton for Outstanding Actress in 2015. Most recently directed: Golda’s Balcony for the New Repertory Theater, I Am Lear, a devised piece for ASP and the Gloucester Stage’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Braha has an MFA from Boston University, a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and continues to be a proud member of SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA and, of course, Stage Source where she sat on the Board of Directors for its first six years.