November 12, 2014

Golda’s Balcony


I’ve always had an affinity for plays that teach me a bit about history. Golda’s Balcony, the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history, does just that. Written by the same playwright who brought Helen Keller’s story alive in “The Miracle Worker,” Golda’s Balcony explores the life of Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir.

Miki Mathioudakis plays the titular character with a firm grace. Golda was the prime minister during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a terrifying time for the country of Israel. There is a delicate tightrope to walk for all political leaders, but that’s even truer when a country is in the midst of a tumultuous time.
 

The set is a simple room, but the backdrop is a huge projector screen. Throughout the production the screen displays images of the political adviser and world leaders as she discusses each one. It also had photos from her childhood and maps of the areas under attack. These elements help bring the audience into the story, connecting them with the real events as Golda explains her difficult decisions during that time period.

It's a slow moving play, one that deals with big issues in a gentle way. It’s 90 minutes long with no intermission, but there is very little action. It falls into a storyteller category for me, Golda speaking directly to the audience as she tells her tale. She talks about her childhood, upbringing, marriage, fears, goals, and major world events. At times the details weigh the flow down, but the end goal is reached. The bittersweet tone reminds audiences of the horrible nature of war and its inevitable encroachment into our lives.
 

Golda’s Balcony has closed it run, but up next is the perennial favorite musical “The Wizard of Oz.” The show opens at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre on December 12, just in time for the holidays.
 
Don't Miss "The Wizard of Oz"
Performances: The show runs from December 12 until January 3. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is located at 3 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032 at the Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets: Ticket prices range from $24 to $46.50 and can be purchased by calling (317) 843-3800 or visiting www.civictheatre.org.
Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing

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