Hershey Felder to Helm THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE, Starring Mona Golabek at Laguna Playhouse, 5/29-6/9

The Laguna Playouse will present Hershey Felder's newest production, award-winning concert pianist Mona Golabek starring in the one-woman show, based on a true story, THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE. Adapted and directed by audience favorite Hershey Felder and based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Golabek and Lee Cohen, this music-filled evening recounts the personal story of Ms. Golabek's mother in Nazi-occupied Europe. THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE will perform for two weeks only beginning Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday, June 9 at the Laguna Playhouse, Moulton Theatre, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. in Laguna Beach.

Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who is dreaming about her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall. But with the issuing of new ordinances under Nazi regime, everything for Lisa changes, except for her love of music and the pursuit of her dream. Featuring some of the world's most beloved piano music played live, The Pianist of Willesden Lane is performer Mona Golabek's true family story, chronicling hope, survival and how through our darkest times, music has the power to help us survive.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

MONA GOLABEK (Performer) American concert pianist Mona Golabek has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center and Royal Festival Hall. She is a Grammy nominee and has received numerous awards. She has been the subject of several documentaries including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta. Ms. Golabek's syndicated radio program, The Romantic Hours, combines music with poetry. Her recordings include Carnival of the Animals and Ravel's Mother Goose Suite featuring Meryl Streep, both recorded with Ms. Golabek's sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye. Both daughters were taught by their mother, Lisa Jura, who is the subject of Ms. Golabek's acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane. Ms. Golabek founded Hold On To Your Music, a foundation devoted to spreading the message of the power of music. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources which, with her book, have been adopted into school curricula across America.

Hershey Felder (Adaptation/Director) Broadway, London's West End: George Gershwin Alone (Helen Hayes Theatre, Duchess Theatre). Regional and international appearances of "Composers Sonata" (1999-2013) - George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven, As I Knew Him, and Maestro: 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 and LINCOLN: An American Story for the Eighty Eight Entertainment label. Worldwide live broadcasts, George Gershwin Alone, July 2005 and May 2011. Current projects include a new musical, An American Story for Actor & Orchestra, recorded with Chicago's Ars Viva Symphony conducted by Alan Heatherington. 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.




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