BAY STREET THEATER (Scott Schwartz, Artistic Director and Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director), GOLDAVISION in association with the MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST, Present:
TOVAH FELDSHUH in BECOMING DR. RUTH this December
Showbiz411 calls “Tovah Feldshuh…a Thrilling Dr. Ruth”
“Feldshuh captures her eccentricities, gesticulations, fearlessness, and fortitude with uncalculated confidence and coolness. She truly inhabits the character.”—Stage and Cinema
“Terrific! … skillfully directed.”—Sag Harbor Express
“[Dr. Ruth’s] story is certainly a stirring one… [and this is] an illuminating portrait.”—The New York Times
“It’s a simple premise…but it works for Westheimer’s story, which is fascinating (and heartbreaking) all on its own. [St. Germain] convincingly and humorously conveys Westheimer’s surprising dignity, courage, and resilience.”—The New Yorker
“Anyone who is interested in Dr. Westheimer…or in true-life adventure tales of Holocaust survivors…should find BECOMING DR. RUTH an enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes.”—Huffington Post
“Mark St. Germain’s heartfelt bioplay dutifully chronicles Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s inspirational life story…”—Time Out NY
(New York, NY)—Returning to the stage in New York City this fall, six-time Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor Tovah Feldshuh stars in a tour-de-force theatrical show Becoming Dr. Ruth, presented Off-Broadway at Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. The one-woman show, written by Mark St. Germain, follows a sold-out run at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor this summer.
The limited-run show begins previews on Saturday, December 4 and opens Thursday, December 16 through Sunday, January 2, 2022, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s newly renovated, state-of-the-art Edmond J. Safra Hall in Battery Park City.
The event marks Tovah’s return to the stage in New York City in eight years (since she starred in Pippin) and comes on the heels of her acclaimed performance as noted sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer in Becoming Dr. Ruth, which Bay Street Theater presented in association with North Coast Repertory Theatre as one of the first professional live theatrical productions since the pandemic began.
Tickets – starting at $59 – go on sale at mjhnyc.org in early October. The production—presented on the same stage as National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s smash hit Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish—will have a runtime of 90 minutes with no intermission and be performed in compliance with current New York State health and safety requirements for indoor performances.
Directed by Bay Street Theater’s Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, Becoming Dr. Ruth chronicles the life of noted psychologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, from her early years fleeing Nazi Germany, living as an orphan in Switzerland, to her service in the Israeli armed forces as a sharpshooter, and her later life and career in New York. Becoming Dr. Ruth is a humorous and heartfelt portrait detailing Dr. Ruth’s remarkable journey against so many odds to become a pioneer in the psychology of human sexuality and the world’s most famous sex therapist.
Becoming Dr. Ruth reunites Feldshuh and Schwartz in New York for the first time since their major success with Golda’s Balcony—which became the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history.
The Sag Harbor Express raves, “Feldshuh provides an astute and stunning performance of a woman about whom most people only know the superficial basics… Skillfully directed” by Scott Schwartz.
Tovah Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy and Tony Award-nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Additionally, for her theatre work, she has won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Dramalogues, the Obie, the Theatre World, and the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress. She just has been twice nominated as Best Actress in a Drama in Los Angeles for her work in the play Sisters-in-Law, in which she originated the role of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She recently won the prestigious Audie award for her narration of The Gift by Holocaust-survivor Dr. Edith Eger. Broadway credits include Yentl, Cyrano, Rodgers & Hart, Dreyfus in Rehearsal, Saravá! (Tony nom), Lend Me a Tenor (Tony nom), Irena’s Vow, Golda’s Balcony (Tony nom) and the show stopping, trapeze-swinging Berthe in Pippin (composed by Stephen Schwartz).
Off-Broadway and around the country: Dozens of productions playing everything from Aunt Abby Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Irene Young in The Prompter, both under the baton of Scott Schwartz, to Tallulah Bankhead, Katharine Hepburn, Sarah Bernhardt, Shakespeare’s Juliet, three singing queens of Henry VIII and nine Jews from birth to death in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! Most recently, she portrayed Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen opposite Ed Asner in The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen. This fall, her concert, Tovah is LEONA, where she inhabits the infamous Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, returns to the Mizner Performing Arts Center in Boca. On television, she has starred in The Walking Dead, Law & Order (Emmy nom), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the history making mini-series Holocaust (Emmy nom). In film: Kissing Jessica Stein (Golden Satellite Award), A Walk On The Moon, Brewster’s Millions, Just My Luck, Daniel, The Idolmaker, and an award-winning performance as Prime Minister Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony: The Film. She is about to come out in Paramount Pictures’ Clifford The Big Red Dog. On the page, Tovah’s first memoir, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter and Other Roles I’ve Played, has just been published by The Hachette Book Group and was selected by Good Morning America and Town & Country as a “must read” and by Amazon as one of their best sellers. “Lilyville is less physical location and more a place in [Tovah’s] heart — and psyche… Glued to every page, I laughed. I cried. I envied.”—Easthampton Star. An adventure traveler, follow Tovah’s pre-pandemic expeditions around the world on Instagram @tovahfeld. Her greatest adventure has been her 45-year marriage to Andrew Harris Levy as well as being the mother of Brandon, married to Jami, Amanda married to Joel, and grandmother to Rafael, Camille, and Sidney Mei.
Mark St. Germain‘s play Becoming Dr. Ruth premiered July 2012 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, played at Hartford Theaterworks, and was brought to New York to the Westside Theatre. His play Freud’s Last Session ran for two years Off-Broadway, closing July 2012, and has been open in Argentina since January 2012 and in repertory in Sweden, Australia, and Denmark. Scott And Hem In The Garden Of Allah co-premiered in the summer of 2013 at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Barrington Stage Company. His play The Best Of Enemies, first produced by the Barrington Stage Company, is now being produced throughout the country. The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, premiered at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in 2013, and then at Goodspeed Playhouse. Mark’s other plays include Camping With Henry And Tom (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears On A Beatle, The God Committee, Out Of Gas On Lover’s Leap, and Dancing Lessons. Mark wrote the Tammy Wynette musical Stand By Your Man, which began at the Ryman Theater in Nashville. With composer Charles Strouse, he co-wrote the book for his adaptation of Dreiser’s American Tragedy. With composer Randy Courts, Mark has written the perennial musical The Gifts Of The Magi as well as Johnny Pye And The Foolkiller (AT&T Award Grant) and Jack’s Holiday (Playwrights Horizons). Television work includes Writer/Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show and Dick Wolf’s Crime and Punishment. He co-wrote director Carroll Ballard’s film Duma and produced and directed the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story with Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Edward Albee, and others. Mark also wrote the award-winning children’s book Three Cups. Mark is an Associate Artist of the Barrington Stage Company, a recipient of the William Inge Festival’s New Voices Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer’s Guild East, and an alumnus of New Dramatists.
Scott Schwartz (Director) is the Artistic Director of Bay Street Theater and directed this production of Becoming Dr. Ruth there this past June. He is an internationally renowned artist whose work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across the United States, in Great Britain, Europe and Asia. Most recently before the pandemic, he directed The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre on the West End in London. He directed the Broadway productions of Golda’s Balcony, starring Tovah Feldshuh, and Jane Eyre (co-directed with John Caird). His Off-Broadway work includes Murder for Two, Bat Boy: The Musical (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical; Drama Desk Award nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), tick, tick…BOOM! (Outer Critics Circle, Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical; Drama Desk nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), The Foreigner starring Matthew Broderick, Rooms: A Rock Romance, Kafka’s The Castle (Outer Critics Circle nomination, Outstanding Director of a Play), Gigantic, and No Way to Treat a Lady. He directed the U.S. premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse, and also in Japan and Germany. Other recent credits include the World Premiere of Séance on a Wet Afternoon starring Lauren Flanigan at Opera Santa Barbara and subsequently at New York City Opera; a revised version of the musical Big Fish at the Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea; and the world premiere of The Prince of Egypt at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and Fredericia Teater in Denmark. Some of the leading regional theaters he has directed at include Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Geffen Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Signature Theatre, and others. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an Associate Artist at the Alley Theatre, and a graduate of Harvard University.
About Bay Street Theater
Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists. Producer Tracy Mitchell serves as its Executive Director, Scott Schwartz as its Artistic Director. For more information, visit www.baystreet.org.
About The Museum Of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and to Lox at Café Bergson.
The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.