Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Golda’s Balcony: an Oy Bay! review

Posted by jlifer on October 11, 2007


Thank G-d I saw Golda’s Balcony. Now I can stop reading The Yom Kippur War by Abraham Rabinovich. I really wanted to know about the fateful events that happened in 1973, but I just couldn’t seem to get through the book– full of military maneuvers and foreign diplomacy. Instead I went to see Golda’s Balcony at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, the one-woman tour-de-force reminiscent of a crazy woman’s last days stewing in her own lunacy.

The show went through the woman behind it all: former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, played by Camille Saviola. The monologue was written by Tony Award winning playwright William Gibson, and directed by Aaron Davidman, artistic director of the Traveling Jewish Theatre.

The one-woman drama goes through her early life as a defiant teen and young wife, and the character reveals the stubborn flaws Golda Meir exhibited. She all but abandoned her children in favor of an exciting career in diplomacy and politics. From a fundraising monster for the Jewish Agency to the fourth prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir was all up in the action laying the foundation bricks of Israel.

And true to the woman she depicted, Ms. Saviola delivered lines straight from the wisdom of our famous Bubbe: “Being Jewish is synonymous with survival,” and “We are the Third Temple.” But my favorite line, when talking about Moshe Dayan and his luck with the ladies: “I always wondered, did he take the patch off?”

Can we say yummy?

I was left unsure as to how I felt about some very blunt assertions about the 1973 events. Golda’s “balcony” refers to the one from which she could see the nuclear operations running in Dimona. The play asserts that she called Nixon and told him Israel had no choice left, and would resort to its nuclear weapons on its neighbor’s military headquarters (as in, Beruit, and other large cities). The play lays out the claims that France helped Israel build the bomb, and that Israel has a horde of the lil guys.

I highly recommend this play for anyone who wants to get a very realistic insight into the only female prime minister of Israel, and her passionate rantings on what may (or may not) have happened during the Yom Kippur War. Watch out for the loud bangs.

This powerful performance is running through Oct. 28, playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. On Saturdays, you can catch the play at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday’s showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


2 Responses to “Golda’s Balcony: an Oy Bay! review”

  1. Oyster said

    I saw Golda’s Balcony two years ago, with Tovah Feldshuh as the Golda. Wow, it was a powerful performance.

    She is the runner up behind Herzl for “Zionist hero who’s personal life most resembles a Greek tragedy”.

  2. […] Golda’s Balcony: an Oy Bay! review …for the Jewish Agency to the fourth prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir was all up in the action laying the foundation bricks of Israel. […]

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