Front cover for Tovah Feldshuh's Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I Played

Tovah Feldshuh, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played

Presented in Partnership with the 2020 Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival


Special Event! View live or until December 12.
Tovah Feldshuh discusses her new memoir, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played.

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From Golda to Ginsburg, Yentl to Mama Rose, Tallulah to the Queen of Mean, Tovah Feldshuh has always played powerful women who aren’t afraid to sit at the table with the big boys and rule their world. But offstage, Tovah struggled to fulfill the one role she never auditioned for – Lily Feldshuh’s only daughter.

Growing up in Scarsdale, NY in the 1950s, Tovah – known then by her given name Terri Sue – was in awe of her mother’s meticulous appearance and perfect manners. Tovah spent her childhood striving for Lily’s approval, only to feel as though she always fell short. Lily’s own dreams were beside the point; instead, she devoted herself to Tovah’s father Sidney and her two children. Tovah watched Lily retreat into the roles of the perfect housewife and mother, and swore to herself, “I will never do this.”

In this insightful, compelling, often hilarious and always illuminating memoir, Tovah shares the highs and lows of a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, and shares the lessons that she has learned, often the hard way, about how to live a life in the spotlight, strive for excellence, and still get along with your mother. Through their evolving relationship we see how expectations for women changed, with a daughter performing her heart out to gain her mother’s approval and a mother becoming liberated from her confining roles of wife and mother to become her full self.

Co-sponsor: Sandi & Steve Matz, The Berman Center for the Performing Arts


Tovah Feldshuh, author of Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I Played

About the Author:
Tovah (born Terri Sue) Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy & Tony nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. For her theatre work, she has won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circle, three Dramalogues, the Obie, the Theatre World, and the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress. She is a playwright, concert artist, and author. TV credits include: Holocaust, Law & Order, The Walking Dead, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Films include: Kissing Jessica Stein, A Walk on the Moon, The Idolmaker, and Clifford (release November 2021). Broadway: Yentl, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, Pippin, Lend Me a Tenor , and more. Most recent theatre portrayal: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Sisters in Law and Ms. Feldshuh’s nightclub acts, Aging is Optional and Tovah is Leona! (Helmsley). She is a recipient of the Israel Peace Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award, and was honored as Hadassah’s Mother of the Year.

She is thrilled to be appearing at her first Detroit Jewish Book Fair as she begins her book tour for her memoir.



Dec 05 2020


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Dec 05 2020
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Tovah Feldshuh, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played