THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE, Starring Mona Golabek, to Make Off-Broadway Debut, 7/7-8/24
After a sold-out run in the Theatre's Thrust Stage last fall, Berkeley Repertory Theatre announces that The Pianist of Willesden Lane, starring internationally acclaimed pianist Mona Golabek, will make its off-Broadway debut at 59E59 Theaters July 7 - August 24, 2014. Golabek's unforgettable, musically infused performance was one of the biggest hits in the Theatre's history, selling out virtually all 52 performances of its originally scheduled engagement and all 29 performances of its extension. Its record-breaking run landed The Pianist of Willesden Lane as one of 10 shows in the last 25 years of the Theatre's history to draw more than 30,000 patrons. The Pianist of Willesden Laneis the 29th show the Theatre has helped send to New York in the last 27 years.
Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg, the musical drama tells the true story of Golabek's mother, Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. Golabek performs some of the world's most beautiful music live as she chronicles the true story of her mother's survival. The Pianist of Willesden Lane, is adapted and directed by award-winning musician Hershey Felder and based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Golabek and Lee Cohen.
Bay Area critics uniformly agreed Golabek's heartfelt tribute to her mother is poignant and emotional. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Hurwitt called the show, "an astonishing tour de force...Mona Golabek doesn't just tell a great story. Seated at a concert grand, she accompanies her tale with music that infuses, illustrates, amplifies and elevates The Pianist of Willesden Lane to make the personal universal and another generation so personal that you can't help but feel your heart swell in response." And in the San Jose Mercury News, Karen D'Souza raved,"Pianist strikes a deep chord in its audience because it uses the power of music to reveal the fragility of humanity... [Mona Golabek's] mastery as a musician lends to the emotional ferocity of the play, its depth and sweep."
ABOUT BERKELEY REP
Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors.
Now in its tenth year of operation, 59E59 Theaters has firmly established itself as a premier off-Broadway theater complex with a very distinct personality. Led since its inception by President and Artistic Director Elysabeth Kleinhans and Executive Producer Peter Tear, the programming of over 40 productions annually in three small theaters has concentrated almost exclusively on new American, British and International work and on stimulating an audience eager to experience theater that is, for the most part, out of the ordinary.
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