As a writer who has focused on animal and travel articles for the past five years, it came as a surprise when an interview with the amazing Tovah Feldshuh came my way. She’s an iconic Broadway star, known for her roles as Yentl and Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony, and now appears in one of the hottest shows on TV. When I first saw her on The Walking Dead (TWD) as Deanna Monroe, the leader of Alexandria – where our beloved survivors take shelter – I noticed immediately that she was strong, smart, and resilient: three attributes that the post-apocalyptic world requires.
In real life, sitting across from me in her gym clothes after yoga class in her Upper West Side apartment, Tovah was also charming, interesting, and fun! When she shared tales of hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, her plans to track lemurs in Madagascar, and our mutual admiration for Rick Grimes/Andrew Lincoln, I knew we would get along famously.
An hour and a half later, we were on the couch together as she shared pictures from her phone with TWD cast members and the Broadway stars she calls friends (namely Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera), along with flying trapeze shots from Pippin. She’s an inspiration and a role model of someone who’s living life to the fullest.
Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending Tovah’s fantastic one woman show, Aging is Optional, with my husband and in-laws at Feinstein’s/54 Below. From her spot-on impressions of a Jewish grandmother to a French man singing in humorous cliches about love, Tovah had many incarnations in which she excelled with her exceptional voice and high energy.
After her performance, she lounged at the bar to greet audience members and provide them with personal attention. It’s hard not to be happy in her presence; Tovah is simply a gift and nothing’s stopping her, least of all aging.