Berkeley Rep Extends Hershey Felder's MONSIEUR CHOPIN Through 8/10
Due to popular pre-sale demand, Berkeley Repertory Theatre announces it will extend Hershey Felder's popular and critically acclaimed one-man show Monsieur Chopin, a celebrated musical biography of legendary composer Fryderyk Chopin, ahead of its debut. Originally scheduled to run through August 3, the show will now run for an additional eight performances through Sunday, August 10. This summer come along with Felder to Paris in 1848...to a work of love and art and the place where his soul resides, in the depths of Chopin's music. In his passionate portrayal of the "Poet of the Piano," Felder reveals the beloved and romantic composer's secrets about his creations against a gorgeous, lush score of more than a dozen compositions. Monsieur Chopin begins previews July 25, opens July 27, and plays through August 10, 2014 on the intimate Thrust Stage. Tickets start at only $29 and can be purchased by phone at (510) 647-2949 or online at berkeleyrep.org.
The second installment in his Composers Sonata - George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro; and Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Rock Star - Felder's performance as Chopin has garnered effusive praise. "Felder's rapturous, emotionally charged playing of more than a dozen pieces by Chopin is the show's most glorious element," raves the Chicago Sun-Times. "Music was Chopin's solace. And when Felder sits down to play the composer springs to life in a way that says more about the soul of this quintessential Romantic than any words can convey." The Chicago Tribune adds, "Those who saw George Gershwin Alone are likely to show up for Monsieur Chopin. They will enjoy themselves, even if they've never sat and listened to someone playing Chopin.... Felder has two major assets. His lush, romantic playing style at the keyboard is a fine match with Chopin's folkloric but rooted compositions. And the man, clearly, is a fanatic about detail. M. Chopin may be emotional and showy, but it is never inaccurate at neither script nor keyboard." And the Boston Globe proclaims, "Hershey Felder, the show's gifted creator and sole performer, clearly feels deeply attuned to the Romantic sensibility, not just the romantic. And, in his finest moments, he carries a rapt audience along on a wave of true, powerful, and wordless passion."
Hershey Felder (Fryderyk Chopin/Playwright) created and performed George Gershwin Alone, which played at Berkeley Rep, on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre, at West End's Duchess Theatre, and in a worldwide live broadcast. He's currently performing in Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro at Berkeley Rep through August 10, 2014. His Composers Sonata - George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro; and Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Rock Star - has been presented at dozens of theatres across the U.S. and around the world, including a command performance of Monsieur Chopin for the Polish Ambassador to the United States. His compositions include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. As director, he premiered Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Geffen Playhouse in April 2012 and at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in October 2013. The acclaimed production will make its off-Broadway debut at 59E59 Theaters this summer. 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.
Joel Zwick (Director) directed My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. Zwick is recognized as one of Hollywood's most prolific directors of episodic television, having the direction of 525 episodes to his credit. These include having directed 21 pilots which have gone on to become regular series. He directed the Broadway production of George Gershwin Alone as well as all subsequent productions. Previous New York productions have included Dance with Me (Tony nomination), Shenandoah (Broadway national tour), Oklahoma (national tour), and Cold Storage (American Place Theater). He directed Esther (Promenade Theater, NY), Merry-Go-Round (Chicago, Las Vegas), Last Chance Saloon, and Woyzeck (West End, London). Zwick has taught drama at the Yale School of Drama, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Wheaton College, and University of Southern California. A graduate (BA, MA) of Brooklyn College, he is currently directing Shake It Up for the Disney Channel.
The producer of Monsieur Chopin is Eighty-Eight Entertainment. Created in 2001 by Hershey Felder, Eighty-Eight Entertainment is devoted to the creation of new works of musical theatre. Current projects include the new musicals Abe Lincoln's Piano and Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Rock Star. Its recordings include Love Songs of the Yiddish Theatre; Back from Broadway; George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra.
Six designers will lend their talents to mount this musically infused production on the intimate Thrust Stage: Yael Pardess (scenic design), Richard Norwood (lighting design), Benjamin Furiga (original sound design), Eric Carstensen (sound co-design), and John Boesche and Andrew Wilder (projection design). Erik Carstensen, and Trevor Hay and serve as stage managers.