Shalom: Valerie Harper’s Golda is golden

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • March 04, 2006

by Karen Feld

Valerie Harper, portraying former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the one-woman show “Golda’s Balcony” at the Warner Theatre, told me that she’s honored to play such “a towering figure.” When asked if she found any similarities between the role she plays and the real-life Valerie Harper, she responded: “Golda was gregarious.” So is Harper. “But Golda never tried to be pleasing,” she said thoughtfully. “I think it’s a female thing. … We’re raised to be charming. But I can call on my passion.” Although not Jewish herself, Harper, who has played stereotypical Jewish characters such as Rhoda Morgenstern, the TV character she made famous, calls herself “Zionistic at heart.”

“I try to make Golda real and accessible,” Harper said. “I try to live the story rather than tell it.” Power supersedes glamour in this role. “I’d play Golda at 100,” Harper said. “She wielded power as a human being. Her humanity was first and then her gender.” Harper spends close to an hour each evening preparing for the role: Her makeup includes a false nose, wig and body padding.

While in Washington, the passionate and politically aware actress spends her days lobbying on Capitol Hill for Results, a citizen lobby group working to end hunger and poverty. Harper works out in the gym at the Sofitel Hotel after the show each evening.

This Comstock act plugs Kate’s book

Barbara Comstock, spokeswoman for the Scooter Libby Defense Trust, and hubby Chip had a big crowd at their home in McLean Saturday evening to launch the new book by the Capital Gang’s Kate O’Beirne, “Women Who Make the World Worse.” Caricatures of Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jane Fonda and Sarah Jessica Parker adorn the book jacket. Word is that Comstock and pals – including Jack Kemp, Jim Woolsey and Steve Forbes – have raised almost $2 million for Libby.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, Judge Robert Bork, former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, Dick Carlson and Cliff May were spotted huddled together talking terrorism.

Dubai metaphors fly

Folks all over town are concerned about the lack of port security. “Having Dubai take care of American ports is like hiring Michael Jackson to be your kid’s nanny,” one Democratic congressman told me at the Bombay Club last evening. The pop star has been living in Bahrain since his child molestation trial.

Katrina’s voter revenge

Congressional vote-counters can’t help but speculate as to whether rebuilding in New Orleans will affect demographics. Are there enough evacuees in Houston to convert Texas to a blue state? Democrat strategists will likely plan voter registration campaigns in Galveston, Houston and Atlanta.

Hilarious Hexagon running again

“You Only Run Twice,” Hexagon’s original 2006 musical revue, opens tonight at the Duke Ellington Theatre in Georgetown. The nonprofit Hexagon is an all-volunteer political satire that began 50 years ago. Yours truly will be doing a “News Break” during the opening show this evening. The production benefits Capital Hospice and Hospice Caring.

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