Tovah Feldshuh: Aging Is Optional (’Cause G-d I Hope It Is!)

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Tovah Feldshuh

Aging Is Optional (’Cause G-d I Hope It Is!)

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, August 1, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Tova Feldshuh

The multi-talented Tovah Feldshuh’s show Aging Is Optional (‘Cause G-d I Hope It Is!) allows her to show off her voice, acting, and the ability to tell a funny anecdote. Cabaret, which she described as “the most intimate art form without a condom,” is the perfect venue to experience her many talents. The show uses songs carefully chosen to depict events in her life, sometimes poignantly, but often hilariously funny. Although, in its totality the show describes her life, each song that she performed could stand alone.

She opened with “I’m Flying,” which gave her the opportunity to tell some funny stories about being on a trapeze while appearing in Pippin. Stories about her mom, who lived to be 103, led into “Beautiful,” sung in her mother’s voice. Judy Collins’ “Secret Gardens” (additional lyrics & arrangement by David Friedman) has a line “where the old stay young forever” which works wonderfully when Feldshuh performs it in her grandmother’s voice. She donned a beret and had a cigarette dangling from her mouth for a very funny “Mon Amour,” which is written with French phrases, with the names of performers Sinatra, Goulet, etc., intermingled in the lyric. After describing her first encounter with her future husband, Feldshuh offered “The First Time I Saw Your Face.” “Where’s the Bathroom” hilariously described her mom visiting Feldshuh’s daughter’s apartment. The acting ability that brought her four Tony and two Emmy nominations was on full display when she performed “Joe” in the voice of a working-class male. The audience sang along to Steven Schwartz “No Time at All,” including the phrase, “If you refuse to get old, you will stay young” were displayed on a screen. Feldshuh closed by artfully blending “You Make Me Feel So Young” with Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”


Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.