Geffen Playhouse Premieres HERSHEY FELDER IN ABE LINCOLN'S PIANO Tonight
Hershey Felder in Abe Lincoln's Piano will have its world premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse as a limited fifteen-performance engagement starting tonight, January 3, 2014.
The acclaimed musician, composer and performer Hershey Felder has previously presented four hit productions in the Gil Cates Theater and just last year adapted and directedThe Pianist of Willesden Lane, which extended for several months in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. Featuring an original score and book by Felder and directed by Trevor Hay, Abe Lincoln's Piano marks a return to the stage for the crowd-favorite with a work based on the timeless music of Stephen Foster including compositions such as "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Oh! Susanna."
Hershey Felder said, "Due to an association in two of my plays with America's greatest musicians, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, I was asked to visit the Chicago History Museum's attic where Abraham Lincoln's White House piano is stored; the mysteries that were revealed to me at that visit formed the basis of Abe Lincoln's Piano, a story full of surprises based on little known events of our country's extraordinary past."
How can one evening at the theater change history? The unfolding of events of April 14, 1865 did just that as the lives of those in the audience and those in our country would never be the same. Uncovering Abraham Lincoln's White House piano and many of the era's personalities to tell these stories best, Hershey Felder regales us with a stunningly new and insightful look at the artistry, politics and individuals surrounding that fateful night at Ford's Theatre. From vaudeville to minstrel shows to American hymns and songs of patriotism, Felder's signature storytelling and music reminds us of our collective history and how the history of the brave emboldens us all.
Hershey Felder in Abe Lincoln's Piano begins previews in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse tonight, January 3 with an official opening on Saturday, January 4 at 8:00pm. This production is part of the Geffen Playhouse Spotlight Entertainment Series. Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.com. Ticket prices currently range from $37 to $57 for preview performances and from $47 to $77 for the regular run.
Preview Performances: Friday, January 3, 2014 at 8:00pm and Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 3:00pm; Opening Night: Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 8:00pm; Closing Night: Monday, January 13, 2014 at 8:00pm. Performance Schedule: Mondays - Fridays 8:00pm; Saturdays 3:00pm; 8:00pm; and Sundays 2:00pm; 7:00pm.
Hershey Felder (Creator/Performer): Broadway, London's West End: George Gershwin Alone (Helen Hayes Theatre, Duchess Theatre). Regional and international appearances of "Composers Sonata" (1999-2012) - George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven, As I Knew Him, andMaestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein - include Old Globe Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Ford's Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Ravinia Festival, Chicago's Royal George Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Prince Music Theatre, The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Uijeongbu Theatre Festival (South Korea) and many others, as well as a command performance of Monsieur Chopin for the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Polish Embassy, Washington. Winner of 2007 Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Best Musical and Best Actor for George Gershwin Alone. Compositions include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings, poetry by Vachel Lindsay; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano;LINCOLN: An American Story, for actor and orchestra. Recordings include Love Songs of the Yiddish Theatre, Back from Broadway,George Gershwin Alone and Monsieur Chopin for the WFMT Radio Network Recordings label, Beethoven, As I Knew Him andLINCOLN: An American Story for the Eighty Eight Entertainment label. Worldwide live broadcasts, George Gershwin Alone, July 2005 and May 2011. Mr. Felder has been a Scholar in Residence at Harvard University's Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada.
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, visit geffenplayhouse.com.
Photo Credit: 88 Entertainment