Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel Opens At St. Luke's, Previews 8/25

"HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel" tells the largely-unknown story of how President Harry S. Truman's friendship with his former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, leads to the creation of Israel in 1948.

Eddie Jacobson, a Jewish haberdashery salesman, and Harry Truman initially bonded during World War I where the Missouri men were put in charge of a struggling army canteen. The success of that venture leads to their joining forces after the war to open a haberdashery store in Kansas City, MO. When the depression hit and their store failed, Harry went into politics and Eddie went back on the road as a traveling salesman. In 1948, as the Zionists were struggling to convince President Truman to support the United Nation's recognition of Israel, Eddie was asked to push their unlikely friendship to the breaking point.

The play, written by Mark Weston, directed by Bob Spiotto and produced by Jessimeg Productions, will have its World Premiere on Thursday, September 8th at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, west of 8th Avenue in Manhattan's theatre district. Previews begin Thursday, August 25th at 8 PM. The performance schedule is Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 PM and Thursdays at 8 PM.

In 2008 "HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel" was presented as a staged reading at Hofstra University, in conjunction with Hofstra's Israel at 60: A Celebration, and as part of a series of politically-themed events leading up the Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Rick Grossman, who plays Eddie, is a third generation thespian who started as a child actor in the Yiddish Theater appearing with Molly Picon, Menasha Skulnick, Irving Jacobson, and his parents, Irving Grossman & Diana Goldberg. Off-Broadway credits include IT'S A FUNNY WORLD, HELLO, CHARLIE!, DAMN YANKEES (Lincoln Center Outdoors) and he has toured in MILK & HONEY, COME BLOW YOUR HORN and ENTER LAUGHING. Dan Hicks (Harry Truman) has appeared in "One Night Stand" with Wesley Snipes, "Celebrity" with Judy Davis, and "Out of Sight" with Maria Sorvino. He toured with Biggs-Rosatti as Friar Laurence in ROMEO AND JULIET and with TheatreWorks USA as Homer in CHARLOTTE'S WEB. He recently appeared in WRECK and in the World Premiere of OSWALD, both written by Dennis Richard. Lydia Gladstone (Bluma Jacobson) has appeared in NYC in DOG DAY AFTERNOON, DE DONDE?; THE WITCH OF WALL STREET; TESS; CALL ME MADAM; APAC-NUNSENSE, and TOVARICH, as well as performed regionally.

Director Bob Spiotto has worked as a director, producer, actor, choreographer and teacher in the NY and Wash., DC areas. As Executive Producer for Hofstra Entertainment and Artistic Director of Hofstra Cultural Center, he has produced and/or directed hundreds of events since 1990.

Playwright Mark Weston's works include BECKWOURTH, BECKWOURTH...THE LATER YEARS, BAGELS AND LUCK, THE NINTH OF APRIL, I'M WITH YOU! SHOWHORN, SPLIT INFINITIVE, DE WITT C! and the musical LOUISE, starring Paige O'Hara. Screenplays include Beckwourth, Carnival Magic, Pershing, A New Tomorrow, Slade, Crispus Attucks, and the documentary Inca Remembered, which was the recipient of more than 30 international awards.

Sets and lighting will be designed by Josh Iacovelli (ZERO HOUR, DANNY & SYLVIA, ONE NIGHT WITH Fanny Brice).

Tickets at $59.50 & $36.30 are available through or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You