“Survival is the synonym for Jewish, ” says Golda Meir in Pegasus Players’ brilliant production of William Gibson’s “Golda’s Balcony.” During Israel’s 1973 Yom Kippur War, Meir details the painful lengths that she and the fledgling state would go to survive. Russian-born and Milwaukee-raised, Meir defied convention and left America for Israel in the 1920s. Her rise through socialist leadership put her at odds with her family; Meir experienced any modern woman’s guilt over cheating loved ones and beloved causes out of time and commitment. Gibson’s script effortlessly flips from personal past to political present. Janet Ulrich Brooks poignantly captures Meir’s conflict over the decisions necessary to shepherd Israel to nationhood (she is horrified yet resigned over the decision to use nuclear weapons). Brooks’ comedic timing and dramatic pacing is rock solid from start to finish. Her Golda is not afraid of a fight, not when survival is at stake. (Lisa Buscani)
At the O’Rourke Center for the Performing Arts, 1145 West Wilson, (773)878-9761. Through Jul 13.