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Tova’s back in Boca for more queen of mean shows

Actress Tovah Feldshuh’s bringing her Leona Helmsley act back to Boca Raton in March. January’s runs were sellouts.

“Tovah is Leona” returns at 3 and 8 p.m. March 28, 2 and 7 p.m. March 29 at Mizner Park Cultural Center. This is the last time to see the show here this year, Feldshuh said by phone from New York. You can get tickets by clicking here.

“I inhabit Leona, it’s not a parody,” Feldshuh said about her one-woman musical.

The Tony and Emmy nominated actress has built a busy film, TV and stage career portraying high-profile women. Think Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. She’s Aunt Z in “Star Wars: Resistance.” Played Naomi Bunch in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriends” and Deanna Monroe in “The Walking Dead,” among recurring roles. Her new act is “Age is Optional.”

Feldshuh “gets” the hotel magnet who spent time in jail for tax evasion. She brings Leona back from purgatory, confident she’s right and asking for a retrial. “I ask the audience to be the jury,” she said.

The music’s a mix of the American songbook and new tunes by Ron Passaro and David Lee and Alex Lippard. They hope to bring a full show to Broadway. Feldshuh created this act with  musical director James Bassi and director Jeff Harnar.

Helmsley never got over childhood rejection and getting even was part of her personality, Feldshush said. That’s the rap the “queen of mean” became notorious for, even in her 2007 obituary. “My job isn’t to judge Leona but to play Leona,” Feldshuh said.

By Marci Shatzman


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