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June 11, 1993 - Image 80

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I'm afraid
if I don't get
a good education
I will end up
living the rest of
my life
with my mother.

Bubble Meise:

A Musical Mitzvah

MICHAEL ELKIN SPEICAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

S

Joel ReOmbal
5th grade

America needs more schools
that encourage our children to fulfill
their promise.

KEEP THE PROMISE.

For information on how you can
help change the schools in your
community, call 1. 800-96-PROMISE.

1
11 1 1.
drz.
Education Excellence Partnership

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THE JEWISH NEWS

uch a "Bubbie Meise."

A grandiloquent
tribute to her two
grandmothers, Bubbe
Moises, Bubbe Stories
bubbles with a grand-
daughter's love.
And when that grand-
daughter is as talented as
Ellen Gould, the two bubbies
sparkle in the spotlight.
"This is such a work from
the heart, a payback to two
wonderful women," says
Ellen Gould of her musical
mitzvah, which opened at
New York's Cherry Lane
Theatre.
"I did this to honor the
bubbies of the world, for
people to understand and
honor the generations of
women who meant so much
in our lives," says Ms.
Gould.
In generating such a
tribute, Ellen Gould took a
skip down memory lane,
without skipping any of the
loving qualities that made
her two grandmothers, Git-
tle and Annie, both now
deceased, such important
forces in her life.
"Annie was my con-
fidante," says Ms. Gould,
confident that her love for
the "93-year-old woman who
was really with it even at
the end" will come through
on stage.
One could always make
book on Annie. "She came
from a family of scholars. In
later years, she became a
Lubavitcher."
She also became a good
source for a clever quip. In-
deed, says the
playwright/actress, Annie
was a winner in the battle of
the sexes. "She used to say
that life was so short and sex
so good," laughs Ms. Gould.
Bubby Gittle, on the other
hand, "was the complete op-
posite, a real Russian revo-
lutionary. Her father threw
her out of the house for going
to socialist meetings."
Like bubbie, like hinder?
Ms. Gould, who recalls her
own years as a "revolutionary
in the '70s," wonders herself.
Sharing a life space with
these two wonder women
was wonderful, says Ms.
Gould. Not everyone,

Michael Elkin is entertainment

editor of the Jewish Exponent
in Philadelphia.

Ellen Gold in her tribute to bubbles.

however, was ecstatic at the
bubbies' influence over
young Ellen.
"My parents were ex-
tremely happy that I was
close to my bubbies," says
Ellen Gould. "On the other
hand, my parents wanted to
raise their child their own
way," which sometimes
bumped up against the
bubbies' advice.
Ms. Gould has had a grand
time working on the
musical, in which she plays
both of her grandmothers.
Does she have a preference
for one over the other?
"Initially, I was writing a
musical to honor Annie,"
says Ms. Gould of a
playwright's dream situa-
tion, bringing such a family-

oriented show to life
off-Broadway.
But it was another dream

that changed the shape of
the show. "I had a dream
where Gittle came to me and
said, 'So, what's with me?' "
Ms. Gould answered her on
stage, expanding the scope of
the musical, which features
songs by Gould and Holly
Gewandter. Richard
Frankel, whose other credits
include Driving Miss Daisy
and Marvin's Room,is pro-
ducing; Gloria (Other
People's Money) Muzio is
directing.
As she directed her talents
to bringing the two bubbies
to life on stage, Ellen Gould
realized the show. was a
showcase for others, too. "I
came to realize as I went
along that this musical was
also a way of honoring my
parents."
Life can be a series of

challenges, says Ms. Gould,
and her parents were armed
for the battle. "I am one of
three childi'en, but the only
one to survive," she says of
her siblings, who died in
separate car accidents years
apart.
"My parents were
phenomenally courageous. I
realized that part_ of the
reason I wrote the show is to
honor their courage and
triumph over tragedy."
Ellen Gould has had her
share of triumphs, appear-

Ellen Gould took
a skip down
memory lane.

ing in the Lincoln Center
production of Macbeth and
in The Golden Land.
She found the experiences
bewitching —doing the wit-
ch speeches in both English
(Macbeth) and Yiddish
(Land).
Her latest work has pro-
vided her a romanticized
journey, and the more Ms.
Gould thinks back on her
bubbies, the more she misses
them. "I wish they were
with me today," she says.
But they are with her on
stage, every night at the
Cherry Lane Theatre. Even
though they fit like a second
skin, Ellen Gould can't wait
to add the ultimate wrinkle
to her performance.
"I'd like one day," she says
with a smile in her voice, "to
be old enough to play them
at the ages they actually
were." I I

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