Award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder brings to life on stage the music and personal stories of Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein in two musical-plays, which will alternate at London’s The Other Palace this autumn.
Recently named in TIME Magazine’s top ten theatre artists for 2016, Hershey Felder has broken box office records and received critical acclaim across America with his solo productions that bring to life the stories and music of Ludwig van Beethoven and Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and George Gershwin. Felder created, produced and directed last season’s critically acclaimed and box office hit, The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the former St. James Theatre and now returns to newly named The Other Palace with this unique blend of piano virtuosity and musical biography for two of the 20th Century’s great icons of music.
Felder will play Irving Berlin and perform some of the great composer’s most enduring songs and shares the backgrounds behind their creation including Alexander’s Ragtime Band, There’s No Business Like Show Business, Always, Blue Skies, White Christmas, Puttin On The Ritz and God Bless America.
Irving Berlin’s story begins as a child refugee from Russia, before rising as a songwriter in New York’s Tin Pan Alley and beyond to become one of the most celebrated composers of Broadway musicals, top charting hits and scores for Hollywood movies, earning him eight Academy Award nominations and with George Gershwin calling him “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived”.
In a career spanning 60 years, Berlin wrote an estimated 1500 songs, many of which formed a major part of the Great American Songbook and which are known globally today, having been performed by artists including: Fred Astaire, Aretha Franklin, Ethel Merman, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Luciano Pavarotti, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Barbra Streisand, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga.
The performer will also play Leonard Bernstein in MAESTRO as he reveals the behind-the scenes tale of the making of a musical superstar. MAESTRO features selections from Bernstein’s musicals and orchestral works including West Side Story, Candide, On The Town and Wonderful Town as well as compositions from those who inspired him including Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner, Copeland, and more.
Leonard Bernstein was a conductor, pianist, author, teacher, librettist, television star, and the composer of symphonies, operas, iconic film scores and many American musical classics. Born in Massachusetts in 1918, he found fame leading the New York Philharmonic as Artistic Director. Bernstein had a life of personal turbulence and tragedy but also great triumph, pushing boundaries to become, as music critic Donald Henahan described him, “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.”
You can see Hershey Felder play Irvine Berlin on 22 – 24 September, 27-28 September and 9 –15 October and Leonard Bernstein on 25 – 26 September, 30 September – 7 October and 18 – 22 October. http://www.theotherpalace.co.uk