Kindertransport Refugee Talks Onstage With Star Of THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE At TheatreWorks
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley announces a special post-show forum with celebrated pianist Mona Golabek, star of the musical masterpiece The Pianist of Willesden Lane, and Helga Newman, a real-life Kindertransport refugee who currently resides in Palo Alto. Like Newman, Golabek's mother, Lisa Jura, fled Vienna during World War II via the Kindertransport, a program that rescued 10,000 children. Jura's musical journey to an extraordinary life at a children's home on London's Willesden Lane is the inspiration for Golabek's internationally acclaimed solo show The Pianist of Willesden Lane, which is currently being presented by TheatreWorks. Following the 2pm performance of The Pianist of Willesden Lane on Saturday, February 1 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Golabek and Newman will take the stage for a one-time-only discussion moderated by Lisa Edsall Giglio, TheatreWorks's Director of Education. This free forum is open to audience members and community members. The Pianist of Willesden Lane will perform through February 16, 2020 at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View. For tickets (starting at $30) and more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.
Created and directed by TheatreWorks favorite Hershey Felder, The Pianist of Willesden Lane has captivated audiences and critics alike in sold-out runs across the country. BroadwayWorld called the show "A timeless piece of storytelling. Mona Golabek channels emotion into the keys. The Pianist of Willesden Lane is one story worth seeing and listening to."
Mona Golabek is an internationally-renowned concert pianist, actor, author, and radio host. She is the subject of several documentaries including More Than Music and A Concert for Mona. A Grammy nominee, Golabek has performed concerts across the globe, including performances at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, and the Royal Festival Hall. 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. Golabek is the founder and president of the nonprofit Hold On To Your Music, and the host of classical music radio show "The Romantic Hours," which blends classical music with readings of love letters and poetry.
Hershey Felder (Director and Adapter) is an actor, pianist, writer, director, composer, conductor, and producer who has conjured the spirits of George Gershwin, Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Leonard Bernstein, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Claude Debussy, and Irving Berlin. Felder's solo shows have been seen across America - at The Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Cleveland Playhouse, as well as long runs at Chicago's Royal George Theatre and engagements at New York's Town Hall, 59E59, and the Streicker Center. Throughout the past 20 years, he has given more than 5,000 performances. Described by American Theatre Magazine as "a seductive portraitist, compelling storyteller, and superb concert pianist," Felder's work was named one of TIME Magazine's 2016 Top Plays and Musicals. While making his TheatreWorks directorial debut with The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Felder has become an enormous Bay Area favorite onstage-audiences packed last season's World Premiere of Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story at TheatreWorks, as well as the 2019 Tony Award-winning company's regional premieres of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin; Hershey Felder, Beethoven; and Our Great Tchaikovsky.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award. With over 100,000 patrons per year, the Palo Alto-based theatre company has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.