PASADENA, CA (November 16, 2015) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) announces a special presentation for the 2015-2016 Season. Los Angeles Times Critics’ Choice HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN will play July 19 - August 7, 2016. The director is Trevor Hay who collaborated with Hershey Felder, performer and creator, on An American Story, Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt and The Pianist of Willesden Lane. The production features lyrics and music by Irving Berlin and book by Hershey Felder. Tickets for this special presentation are now on sale.
Hershey Felder brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, “America’s Composer.” From the depths of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia to New York’s Lower East Side, and ultimately all of America and the world, Berlin’s story epitomizes the American Dream.
Featuring the composer’s most popular and enduring songs from “God Bless America” and “Always” to “White Christmas” and beyond, Hershey’s masterful creation of character and musical performance is an unforgettable journey. As Jerome Kern famously said, "Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music."
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, “Hershey has appeared in various guises several times on the stage of The Playhouse. The success of those previous engagements has made for consistent requests for his return to our venue. I am pleased to welcome him back to our stage, this time recreating the persona and the work of one of America's greatest and most popular songwriters. The ‘Cheek to Cheek’ combination of Mr. Berlin and Mr. Felder filling our summer nights with their distinctive music will, I am sure, take our audience to Heaven!”
Hershey Felder adds, “The Pasadena Playhouse is a national treasure and historic theatre with a lovely acoustic. Being in that space and sharing the music and story of America’s greatest songwriter - with a very special audience - will be a way to go back in time to the Hollywood and New York of a very magical time.”
The Los Angeles Times designated the production a Critics’ Choice and said it is “Richly entertaining and ultimately touching,” Broadway World said “You do not want to miss a delicious moment of it,” and The Huffington Post praised creator and performer Hershey Felder who “dazzles as Irving Berlin.”
The creative team for HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN includes Hershey Felder and Trevor Hay (Scenic Design), Richard Norwood (Lighting Design), Andrew Wilder and Lawrence Siefert (Projection Design), and Erik Carstensen (Sound Design & Production Manager).
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets, priced from $25 to $125, are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529; or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
HERSHEY FELDER (Irving Berlin/Playwright/Scenic Co-Design) Mr. Felder created and performed George Gershwin Alone, which played on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre, in the West End at the Duchess Theatre, and in theatres around the country. His Composers Sonata—George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Maestro Bernstein; Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Musik, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin—has been presented at dozens of theatres across the U.S. and around the world. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. As director, he premiered Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Geffen Playhouse in 2012 and produced and created scenic design for Taylor Hackford’s Louis and Keely ‘Live’ at the Sahara. Mr. Felder has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.
TREVOR HAY (Director/Scenic Co-Design) directed the world premieres of An American Story For Actor and Orchestra, Abe Lincoln's Piano and Hershey Felder As Franz Liszt In Musik. He is Associate Director for Mona Golabek's The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Former member of the historic Old Globe Theatrein San Diego where, at the age of nine, his first position was selling Old Globe memorabilia. Over the next 32 years, Mr. Hay went on to various aspects of production on more than 80 presentations, including the Broadway productions of Jack O'Brien's Damn Yankees, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Twyla Tharpe's The Times They Are A-Changin'. Included in his 23 seasons at the Old Globe were eleven seasons of the Summer Shakespeare Festival Repertory, as well as work on Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, directed by Sam Gold, and Hershey Felder's George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin and Maestro Bernstein.