Hershey Felder is Back for a One-Man Theatrical Event
This June award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder returns to Berkeley Rep with his popular and critically acclaimed one-man show, "Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro." Last summer, Felder brought Bay Area audiences to their feet and even got them singing with "George Gershwin Alone." Now the master entertainer and virtuoso pianist is back for a limited engagement about America's greatest musical legend. Conductor, composer, pianist, author, teacher, librettist, television star, and composer of "West Side Story," "Candide," "On the Town," and "Wonderful Town," Bernstein pushed all boundaries to become the world's first serious musical media superstar. Felder combines first-person narrative with the compositions of Bernstein and others to draw us deeply into the maestro's fascinating life, a life filled with tragedy and triumph and...music. This special presentation plays only 22 performances on the intimate Thrust Stage. It previews on June 5, opens June 6, and plays through June 22.
"Hershey is a great musical talent," says Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's Michael Leibert Artistic Director. "He is a consummate master of bringing musical geniuses to life. He thrilled audiences in his performance of 'George Gershwin Alone' last summer, and in the fall he directed Mona Golabek in the well-received production, 'The Pianist of Willesden Lane.' We're thrilled to have him back for a delightfully entertaining show."
"I'm elated to be returning to Berkeley Rep to share Bernstein's story with its audience," remarks Felder. "What fascinates me most about Bernstein is that he was drawn to both classical and popular work just as I am. But there were never any barriers for him - ever - and that was true of every aspect of his life. I can't wait to take audiences on an extraordinary journey through Bernstein's life and career."
"Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro" has played at theatres across the country and has critics singing its praises."It takes a certain chutzpah and considerable talent to impersonate this uniquely charismatic and supremely talented Bernstein," proclaims the Los Angeles Times. "And Lenny liked nothing better than chutzpah combined with talent.""From the first piano notes and hauntingly beautiful singing in his one-man bio show, writer-performer Hershey Felder grips the audience in the palm of his hand and never lets go," hails the LA Weekly. And the San Diego Union-Tribune adds, "Like Bernstein, Felder seems to thrive on the impulse to instruct and illuminate. He's a masterful pianist with a showman's sense of drama and dynamics... It's a pleasure to watch." "Felder uncannily captures the brilliant, effusive, mercurial, overbearing, exuberantly needy, tortured, multi-talented Bernstein to perfection," proclaims the Chicago Sun-Times. "You will walk out of the theater realizing you've barely breathed for the duration of this astonishing musical and theatrical transmigration of souls."