Hershey Felder to Return to Berkeley Rep as Leonard Bernstein in MAESTRO, June 2014
Today Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced that award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder will return to star inHershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro about the amazing life of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Felder, who is currently directing the deeply stirring one-woman show The Pianist of Willesden Lane on Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage, last appeared in George Gershwin Alone. This summer the master entertainer and virtuoso pianist is back with his popular and critically acclaimed theatrical event. Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro plays only 22 performances on the intimate Thrust Stage. It previews on June 5, 2014, opens June 6, 2014, and plays through June 22, 2014. Tickets are on sale now to Berkeley Rep donors and subscribers to its 2013-14 season; the general public can access seats beginning on November 17, 2013.
"Hershey is a great musical talent," says Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's Michael Leibert Artistic Director. "He is a consummate master of bringing musical geniuses to life. He thrilled audiences in his performance of George Gershwin Alone last summer. We know he will deliver, as he has in the past, a delightfully entertaining show."
In Maestro, Felder combines first-person narrative with the music of Bernstein and the artists who inspired him to present an engrossing journey that traces the composer's musical and personal influences, struggles, and triumphs. Along the way, Felder examines Bernstein's wide-ranging work as both a classical and popular theatrical composer, responsible for such timeless works as West Side Story, Candide, On the Town, and more.
"I'm elated to be returning to Berkeley Rep to share Bernstein's story with its audience," remarks Felder. "What fascinates me most about Bernstein is that he was drawn to both classical and popular work just as I am. But there were never any barriers for him - ever - and that was true of every aspect of his life. I can't wait to take audiences on an extraordinary journey through Bernstein's life and career."
Hershey Felder (Leonard Bernstein/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 a worldwide live broadcast. His Composers Sonata - George Gershwin Alone;Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro; 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; 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 he will perform his world premiere of Abe Lincoln's Piano at the Geffen in January. 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.