by Tulis McCall
Bella Abzug has more or less been swept under the rug both by colleagues and by history. No more. Harvey Fierstein gives us a list of Abzug’s accomplishments that would slay a dragon. Her commitment to civil rights, her willingness to be the last one standing, her certainty that justice was worth spreading around – were astonishing. As she moved through life, standing up for herself, (she introduced a bill giving women the right to have a credit history and credit cards after she had been denied both) she reached out not only across the aisle but around the world to bring people into the tent. She told us, Women have to change the nature of power and not let power change the nature of women.
The fact that this portrayal shied away from pulling me in was disappointing. Fierstein takes an indirect route with an overabundance of pit stops. It did not get in the way of me being bowled over by Abzug’s very existence. But it did leave me feeling once-removed.
Read my complete review HERE.
Bella Bella, written and performed by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Kimberly Senior
John Lee Beatty (Scenic Design), Rita Ryack (Costume Design), Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Design), Jill BC Du Boff (Sound Design), and Caite Hevner (Projection Design).
MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Tickets for Bella Bella can be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org, by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212, or by visiting the New York City Center box office (131 West 55th Street). Running time 90 minutes.