Harvey Fierstein to play Jewish feminist icon Bella Abzug Off Broadway

The three-term congresswoman studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary while attending Hunter College.

By CURT SCHLEIER/JTA
April 20, 2019 06:51
1 minute read.
Broadway

Broadway. (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Harvey Fierstein will portray the take-no-prisoners Jewish politician and feminist icon Bella Abzug in an Off Broadway play this fall.

“Bella Bella” will open in October as part of the Manhattan Theater Club’s 2019-20 season.

Dressing in women’s clothing is nothing new for Fierstein: In addition to writing and starring as a drag queen in his breakthrough production “Torch Song Trilogy,” he won a Tony Award in 2003 for playing Edna Turnblad in the musical “Hairspray.”



“Bella Bella” is set on primary election night in 1976, when Abzug lost her bid for a New York Senate seat to a more moderate Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She is, according to the advance press material, “squirreled away” in a hotel bathroom “while a coterie of family and celebs await her entrance” once results come in.



Abzug, who served a few terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before losing the Senate bid, described herself “as a tough and noisy woman, a prizefighter, a man hater, you name it. They call me battling Bella.” In addition to being a pioneer in the battle for women’s rights, she fought against the war in Vietnam and was an avid Zionist.



The three-term congresswoman studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary while attending Hunter College.



She also was well known for her colorful selection of hats, which one hopes Fierstein won’t eschew, even if he is locked in a bathroom.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

May 25, 2019
Top contenders to replace May viewed as pro-Israel

By TOVAH LAZAROFF