Olympia Dukakis brings ‘Rose’ to Edison Theatre

Legendary actress Olympia Dukakis, the Academy Award-winning star of “Moonstruck” and “Steel Magnolias,” will present a concert reading of “Rose,” her hit one-woman Broadway show, as part of the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series.

The special one-night-only performance will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 22.

Acclaimed actress Olympia Dukakis comes to Edison for one night only Nov. 22.

Written by Martin Sherman — author of the Tony-nominated drama “Bent” (1980), which examined Nazi treatment of homosexuals — “Rose” centers on an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor whose epic story spans the history of the 20th century.

The play opens with Rose sitting shivah (a Jewish mourning ritual) for a murdered Palestinian woman. Asserting that Judaism’s greatest contribution to mankind is “to ask questions which have no answers,” she proceeds to recount her own often gut-wrenching tale of hardship and survival.

Born in a small Ukrainian schetl, Rose survives a brutal Cossack pogrom while still a girl and later bears witness to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. At the end of World War II, she boards a ship, the Exodus 1947, and, when it is turned away from Palestine, marries a Jewish-American sailor.

The couple settles in Atlantic City — which Rose describes as “Warsaw on the Sea” — but she eventually moves to Miami Beach, where she raises a family and runs a small hotel.

Yet the conflicts continue into the next generation as Rose’s children and grandchildren grow to become radical Israeli settlers.

“Bring a handkerchief,” noted the Web site Talkin’ Broadway. “You will be sobbing before the evening is over, just as surely as you will jump to your feet cheering and applauding wildly at its triumphant end.”

The Boston Globe called the show “a lesson in acting technique,” adding “Olympia Dukakis’ performance … is virtuosic.”

Though perhaps best known for her film roles, Dukakis is a veteran of more than 130 stage productions. Her many honors include Obie Awards for her performances in Bertolt Brecht’s “Man’s A Man” (1962) and Christopher Durang’s “The Marriage of Bette and Boo” (1985).

Dukakis made her big-screen debut in 1964 with “Lilith” and, in 1987, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Rose Castorini in “Moonstruck” — a role that also would bring her the New York Film Critics Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and the Golden Globe Award. Other film credits range from “The Cemetery Club” (1993) to “Mighty Aphrodite” (1995), “Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1995) and the Academy Award-nominated “Away From Her” (2006).

On television, Dukakis starred as Anna Madrigal in PBS’ “Tales of the City” (1993), a six-hour miniseries based on the stories of Armistead Maupin. She also reprised the role for the Showtime sequels “More Tales of the City” (1998) and “Further Tales of the City” (2001), for which she earned Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations.

Sherman, who attended Boston University with Dukakis, is perhaps best known for “Bent,” which starred Ian McKellen in its original production and was adapted to film in 1997.

“Rose” debuted at London’s Royal National Theatre in 1999, earning a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play, then traveled to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in 2000.

Tickets are $40 and are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets.

In addition, Edison will host a post-show reception for Dukakis in the Danforth University Center. Tickets to the reception are $50 and also can be purchased at the box office, either with performance tickets or separately.