Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Bella Bella

From 184 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Clever

About the show

Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein returns to MTC taking on New York City’s very own political firebrand, Bella Abzug, in his new raucous solo show.  More…

From the show:

Four-time Tony Award® winner Harvey Fierstein (Casa Valentina) returns to MTC taking on New York City’s very own political firebrand, Bella Abzug, in his new raucous, heart-rending and absurdly humorous solo show. Set in 1976, on the eve of her bid to become New York State’s first female Senator, Bella Bella finds this larger-than-life, truth-slinging, groundbreaking, hat-wearing icon squirreled away in the bathroom of a midtown hotel awaiting that night’s election results while a coterie of family and celebs await her entrance. Directing is Kimberly Senior (The Niceties).


Member Reviews (184)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Clever
83
Avg Score

88
Resonant, Absorbing, Funny, Intelligent

See it if Smart and funny. One of Fiersteins’s sharpest solo shows. Really enjoyed it. Learned a lot.

Don't see it if You don’t like Harvey Fierstein.

85
Relevant, Funny, Informative, Great acting, Delightful

See it if Harvey F is both serious and hilarious, as he does a wonderful job channeling Bella Abzug. I didn't know much about her, but now I do!

Don't see it if You don't like solo bios. You are uninterested in a pioneering Jewish feminist social-justice NY lawyer/politician from the 1970's.

72
Indulgent, Reductive, Disappointing, Schticky, Cute

See it if you like Fierstein's trademark style; you want to learn (in a Wiki sort of way) about a prominent figure in 70s NYC politics.

Don't see it if u hope for a serious exploration of a complex woman (who deserves to be remembered as more than just a caricatured hat-wearing wisecracker).

Also Aside from a few poignant moments, such as the solemn, emotional story... Read more Read less

75
Absorbing, Disappointing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if Often humorous & poignant, other times strident & indulgent this "Intro to Abzug 101" works best in its reflective moments Bella's legacy A+

Don't see it if It's not the script's verbosity that fails it; it's two powerhouse talents - Abzug & Fierstein competing for our attention; to close to call

83
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Funny

See it if if you're a fan of Fierstein or Bella Abzug, enjoy 1-person shows, want to get some 60's-70's NY history, curious how Harvey plays a woman

Don't see it if you don't like one person plays, not interested in politics or Bella Abzug specifically, don't like males in female roles

88
Ambitious, Educational, Historical, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if You love Harvey Fierstein, are interested in feminist history or want to learn Yiddish. It's a well written play and a fun experience.

Don't see it if you expect to see a Bella impersonation. Harvey is delightful but he's definitely Harvey.

64
In 1-man show, fierstein channels spirit of bella abzug, but need more than caricature to bring her alive

See it if Fierstein, a force of nature like Bella, is a good person to play her; reminds us of how far women have come b/c of Bella

Don't see it if broad caricature of Bella telling a lot of lame Borscht Belt jokes; need dramatic situation or foil 4 Bella to galvanize the play

85
Relevant, Intelligent, Delightful, Funny, Entertaining

See it if Great presentation of the passion that was Bella, a force of nature; HF plays the part w/respect/humor/intelligence; involves the audience.

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows or Harvey; you have an issue with a man playing a woman even without changing his physical appearance;

Also Harvey is so warm, funny and sincere I couldn't help but love both him... Read more Read less

89
High-spirited, Absorbing, Touching, Delightful, Great writing

See it if Best play I’ve seen at demonstrating how to be a real ally to groups outside your own (Bella for blacks, gays, soldiers; Harvey for women)

Don't see it if uninterested in vanguard change makers. The only right you’ll exercise is the right to indifference.

Also HF says much on behalf of Bella so I’m defending casting/costuming. An... Read more Read less

70
Slow, Cliched, Funny, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you like biographical comedies by a master portrayer of LGBTQ personalities and supporters

Don't see it if Shtick and droll humor are not your bag

78
Go vote!

See it if you want to learn about the amazing Bella Abzug. You love Harvey Fierstein.

Don't see it if you don't want to be preached at by a man "women can control the world if they would just vote for women." I love Harvey, but cast a woman!

Also I appreciate the writing to encourage us to vote. I enjoyed the script... Read more Read less

77
Go vote!

See it if Animated monologue to get you to vote, esp. for women! Mostly a history lesson of Abzug's challenges and victories against the patriarchy!

Don't see it if Awkward to watch a man speak as a woman of how white, cis, hetero men and their egos have cause the US/world so much suffering.

Also Diversity: older Jewish man embodies the Jewish NY female senator.... Read more Read less

90
Brave endeavor, Great staging, Great writing, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if you want a history lesson about NY politics in the last century, which encompasses feminism, styles of political thinking, and Bella.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Harvey or are not interested in politics, especially local. It's a one-man show, so if that's not your thing either...

Also While I was never a fan of Bella, I had a respect for her that endures... Read more Read less

79
Relevant, Funny, Entertaining

See it if like to be reminded of a political character from the 70s that we'd need to day well researched and performed by Harvey

Don't see it if Wish for more than the highlights of a the career of Bella Abzug - not enough depth

100
Must see, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you are are interested in seeing delightful play about a fascinating woman (Bella Abzug) portrayed by a talented actor (Harvey Fierstein).

Don't see it if a story about woman who followed her interests in politics which lead her to run for political office herself doesn't interest you.

Also Despite the fact that Harvey Fierstein's name has become synonymous wi... Read more Read less

73
Intelligent, Funny, Educational

See it if you're a big fan of Harvey and want to learn more about a legendary female politician.

Don't see it if one person shows where someone just gives facts about their lives aren't for you.

100
Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if 90 minutes of bravado,humor and great insight.Nig just about Bella,about the challenges faced by women in politics and society.Go Fierstein!

Don't see it if No reason not to see ... even Trump supporters (you may learn something).

75
Disappointing, Labor of love, Schmaltzy, Entertaining

See it if You love Harvey Fierstein and everything he does. You are interested in Bella Abzug, Feminism and politics of the 70's. You like monologues

Don't see it if You want a nuanced portrayal of a larger than life activist portrayed by a larger than life actor. Ain't gonna happen.

Also I guess I was expecting more depth and less razzle-dazzle, I should ha... Read more Read less

95
Hilarious, Must see, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you're paying attention to America today. Fierstein holds audience in the palm of his hand as Battling Bella. Brilliant writing/performance

Don't see it if you're a misogynist, racist, homophobe, anti-semite or Republican. Not a drag show. All he needs is her hat and his powerhouse performance

Also Only knowing Bella by name and reputation, I was blown away by her sto... Read more Read less

79
Imaginative staging, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you like Harvey Fierstein - even if you didn't particularly like Bella! You enjoy recent history packaged as entertainment.

Don't see it if you don't like Harvey Fierstein and didn't like Bella Abzug or if you don't like one-person shows.

97
Funny, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Interested in Bella's charge to Congress &what took place in 1976 Show correlates politics then & now. Much laughter. Harvey does it so well

Don't see it if Don't like Harvey & not interested in politics.

Also Harvey is not in Bella drag At first disappointed but then realized it... Read more Read less

92
Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to know more about Bella Abzug--and you do. See it for a terrifically funny, emotional performance by Harvey Fierstein.

Don't see it if history bores you.

Also It's Bella's words based on her autobiography that Harvey uses to tell... Read more Read less

77
Relevant

See it if You like New York political history, feminist politicians, or Fierstein.

Don't see it if You have problems with the obvious irony of a man playing a women who worked for women's causes.

74
Overrated, Indulgent, Dated

See it if See it if you wanna see the famous actor writer Harvey. This was a show made from a Wikipedia page. The show did not deliver as theater.

Don't see it if I just did not like that Bella was played by a man. Down with drag just not down with this.

87
Relevant, Must see, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You care about women, you like What the Constitution means to me, you like Harvey Fierstein

Don't see it if You’re not a theatre goer, by far it’s one of the best shows of this season I cannot find any other reasons not to see it

Also Some man writes a play without a female character, some man writes a p... Read more Read less


October 22nd, 2019
"Abzug and Fierstein, on the Same Ticket in ‘Bella Bella’: When the former Edna Turnblad plays the feminist firebrand of the 1970s, there’s no dress but it’s still a drag."
read more
October 22nd, 2019
4/5 stars "Informative and respectful throughout, but there's an unavoidable incongruity in the fact of Fierstein's male presentation. The tradeoff for this is Fierstein himself: He's so distinctive a performer and so immensely appealing as Abzug…that it's hard to imagine the role being played by...
read more
October 22nd, 2019
"Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein wrote and performs this affectionate solo tribute to political firebrand Bella Abzug, set on the night of her 1976 bid to become New York State's first female Senator."
read more
October 22nd, 2019
"Fierstein wrote this homage to legendary New York politician Bella Abzug -- and plays her, too."
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (3)