Five years before the Camp David Accords, currently being dramatized in Lawrence Wright's play Camp David at the Old Globe, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir gave President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger an ultimatum: Help us (in the Yom Kippur War with Syria and Egypt) or we'll use our "temple weapons." The temple weapons meant nukes. The tense hours surrounding this moment in history constitute the dramatic high apex of William Gibson's Golda's Balcony. The 95-minute one-woman show, now onstage at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad, stars Rosina Reynolds in the role Tovah Feldshuh distinguished on Broadway.
As Meir, Reynolds is resolute, even stern, so committed was the woman born Golda Mabovitz in Kiev to the establishment and survival of the state of Israel. The expository Golda's Balcony is an essential history lesson (with intermittent background projections by Victoria Petrovich) that besides the 1973 showdown with the Nixon Cabinet recalls Meir's personal journey from Kiev to (of all places) Milwaukee to Jerusalem. But the play directed by Todd Salovey is fiercely political in nature, and Reynolds vividly portrays a remarkable world leader, at a volatile time, who was assuredly not to be messed with.
Golda's Balcony runs through June 26 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. $32-$35. newvillagearts.org
Matt Thompson's The Complete History of Theatre (abridged) is now running at the fledgling Point Loma Playhouse. It's a vaudevillian, 90-minute romp performed by three actors who portray William Shakespeare (Tom Steward), Sarah Bernhardt (Hilary White) and Constantine Stanislavsky (John Tessmer). On preview night, the pacing was sluggish, particularly in the first act. The coolest sequence in the entire show comes in Act Two, when Steward, White and Tessmer shout out the names of famous playwrights (from A to Z), then perform mini-skits spoofing that theatrical figure and his/her works. Thompson, an accomplished actor himself, perhaps wrote this for his thespian friends and colleagues, who are the ones most likely to catch the wit and irony of the experience.
The Complete History of Theatre (abridged) runs through June 19 at Point Loma Playhouse. $24-$26; pointlomaplayhouse.com
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Macbeth: A young prince murders and schemes his way to the throne of Scotland in Shakespeare’s bloody classic. Part of the Summer Shakespeare Festival, it opens in previews June 19 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org
A Jewish Joke: Set in 1950s Hollywood, a blacklisted Jewish screenwriter fights back against the Communist witch hunt the best way he knows how: with his jokes. Presented by the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, it opens for two performances June 20 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Camp David: This new play centers on the 1978 Middle East peace talks between Israel and Egypt and of which the legacy is still felt today. Written by Pulitzer-winner Lawrence Wright, it runs through June 19 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org
The Little Mermaid: The musical based on the Disney film about who, for whatever reason, just wants to be part of our world. Presented by Star Repertory Theatre, it runs through June 19 at the Lyceum Theatre in Downtown. starrepertorytheatre.com
Nunsense: A “mega-musical” spoof about five nuns attempting to organize a fundraiser after one of them accidentally kills off the rest of the convent. Presented by the Pickwick Players, it runs through June 19 at Off Broadway Live in Santee. pickwickplayers.net
Stupid Fucking Bird: Young artistic types struggle in Aaron Posner’s irreverent take on Chekhov’s The Seagull. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through June 19 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com
Woody Guthrie’s American Song: An ensemble musical based on the life of the revered American folk singer and songwriter behind classics like “This Land is Your Land” and “Bound for Glory.” Presented by Intrepid Theatre Company, it runs through June 19 at the Horton Grand Theatre in Downtown. intrepidtheatre.org
Golda’s Balcony: A one-woman show about Golda Meir, a Russian immigrant who went on to become Israel’s first female prime minister. Part of the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, it runs through June 26 at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org
Hedda Gabler: A world premiere translation of Henry Ibsen’s classic tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Translated by Anne-Charlotte Harvey, it runs through June 26 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Murder at the Howard Johnsons: A suspenseful comedy in three scenes about a love triangle gone wrong. It runs through June 26 at the Legler Benbough Theatre in Scripps Ranch. scrippsranchtheatre.org
Sordid Lives: When the elderly matriarch dies, a family must sort through their issues or risk embarrassing themselves at the funeral. Written by Del Shores, it runs through June 26 at the Coronado Playhouse. coronadoplayhouse.com
tokyo fish story: When flashier restaurants start cutting into business, an old-school sushi chef must make some changes with help from his protégé. Written by Kimber Lee, it runs through June 26 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org
Lydia: The local premiere of the modern tragedy about an undocumented woman who comes to care for a disabled girl in 1970s El Paso. Presented by ion theatre, it runs through July 2 at the BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest.
Sister Act: The musical based on the film about a singer who witnesses a crime and has to hide out in a convent. Directed by John Vaughan, it runs through July 2 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.
American Rhythm: An original musical production that uses the most memorable songs of the last 100 years. Conceived by Robert Smyth, it runs through Aug. 7 at the Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org