““GOLDA’S BALCONY” -- A STORY OF SACRIFICE AND SINGLEMINDEDNESS
Golda Meir could have devoted her life to her family, husband Morris, children and grandchildren, staying in the kitchen, making chicken soup and matzoh balls. Instead she devoted more than five decades of her life to a cause, establishing a homeland for the Jewish people, creating and safeguarding the state of Israel.
William Gibson has fashioned an intense and revealing portrait of this international world leader, “Golda’s Balcony,” receiving a wonderful production at West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park until Sunday, June 3. It follows her life from the shtelts of Russia to Milwaukee where she was a school teacher to her days as a pioneer clearing the land in Palestine, before it became the state of Israel, through her political rise as the fourth Prime Minister.
Kate Alexander is superb as one of the world’s greatest leaders of the twentieth century, embodying the spirit and courage of a woman who would not back down in her beliefs. Her sacrifices of her personal life to achieve her public goals are clearly delineated.
Director Terence Lamade uses a set of six television screens to visually highlight her struggles and the historic moments that marked her incredible political career. Much time is focused on the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Golda Meir, pressed to the wall to save Israel from annihilation at the hands of Egypt and Syria, resorts to blackmail in her dealings with Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. To get the United States to release desperately needed planes, tanks and ammunition, she threatens to launch nuclear weapons, a likely prelude to World War III.
The title “Golda’s Balcony” refers to the codename for the area inside the nuclear power plant where important visitors would observe the underground facility and its activities in Dimona.
One-women shows are exceptionally difficult to perform. Kate Alexander, with her physical resemblance to Golda, does an outstanding job of bringing this grandmother with a backbone of steel to glorious life, even more remarkable when she does it with a broken foot, injured in rehearsals.
For tickets ($22.50-32.50) call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford (exit 43 off I-84) at 860-523-5000, ext. 10 or online at www.playhouseonpark.org. Don't hesitate to take advantage of their limited time offer; Before June 3rd, if you purchase tickets to “Golda's Balcony” as well as either of their two final Main Stage productions (“Metamorphoses” and “Swinging on a Star”), you will receive a ticket to the remaining show FREE.
Follow Golda Meir, a woman with a simple dream to make a new world, and agonize with her when she states “there will be peace when Arabs learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews.”