The Pianist Of Willesden Lane Returns To Hartford Stage

World-renowned piano virtuoso Mona Golabek returns to Hartford Stage for a limited engagement of her inspirational show, The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Back by popular demand, The Pianist of Willesden Lane will run Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, July 22, for 13 performances only. Tickets will be available for sale on Saturday, May 19.

"Mona's performance is fondly remembered by Hartford Stage audiences, and I am frequently asked when she might return to Hartford," said Michael Stotts, Managing Director of Hartford Stage. "We are all delighted to get this chance to welcome Mona back this summer, to share her moving story, and experience her extraordinary talent."

"There are singular performers and singular performances. We are thrilled to welcome Mona Golabek and The Pianist of Willesden Lane back to Hartford Stage," Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak said.

In The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Golabek performs some of the world's most beautiful classic piano pieces as she shares her own mother's riveting story of survival. Golabek was taught piano by her mother, Lisa Jura, who, along with Lisa's mother, Malka, is the subject of the book, The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival, by Golabek and Lee Cohen. Director Hershey Felder (Our Great Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin Alone) adapted the play from the book.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane originally performed at Hartford Stage in 2015 to rave reviews from both critics and audiences. The Hartford Courant called The Pianist of Willesden Lane "a skillful concert performance with a heartwarming story of survival...Entrancing!" Broadway World wrote, "It's an extraordinary story of human courage, cooperation, and talent. What lifts it here into the realm of art is how beautifully Ms. Golabek plays the piano. Segments of Beethoven, Grieg, Mozart, Debussy, Scriabin, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more are interspersed with straightforward narration about events and personalities, all delivered by Ms. Golabek. Her interpretations are full of feeling."

An author, recording artist, radio host and internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Golabek is the founder and president of the non-profit organization Hold On To Your Music. A Grammy Award nominee, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the People's Award of the International Chopin Competition. She has been the subject of several PBS television documentaries, including More Than the Music, which won the grand prize in the 1985 Houston Film Festival, and Concerto for Mona, featuring her and conductor Zubin Mehta. She has appeared in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Festival Hall, and with major orchestras and conductors worldwide.

Golabek's recordings include the best-selling Carnival of the Animals, featuring the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Ted Danson, Lily Tomlin and others; Ravel's Mother Goose, featuring Meryl Streep; and the Piano Trios of Arensky and Tchaikovsky, recorded in collaboration with her sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye, and including the Poulenc Double Piano Concerto.

Felder, a pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director, has previously thrilled Hartford Stage audiences with his one-man shows Our Great Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin Alone and Monsieur Chopin. His other works include Hershey Felder, Beethoven; Maestro Bernstein; Musik (Franz Liszt); and Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.

 

The Pianist of Willesden Lane's creative team includes Trevor Hay and Hershey Felder, Set Designers; Jaclyn Maduff, Costume Designer; Christopher Rynne, Lighting Designer; Erik Carstensen, Sound Designer; Andrew Wilder and Greg Sowizdrzal, Projection Designers; and Cynthia Caywood, Dramaturg.

Tickets for all performances start at $25. For group discounts (10 or more), contact Molly Sullivan at (860) 520-7125. For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Now in our 54th season, Hartford Stage is under the leadership of Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts. One of the nation's leading resident theatres, Hartford Stage is known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 73 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches close to 21,000 students annually.

Since Tresnjak's appointment in 2011 the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Tresnjak; Rear Window with Kevin Bacon; the new musical Anastasia by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; Big Dance Theatre's Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; and Reverberation by Matthew Lopez.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation's most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans' Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger's Children; and Tea at Five.

The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage's offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.

 



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