Actor, Musician, Composer Delights at Seattle Rep in HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN

The story and music of America's Composer come to life on stage with Seattle Repertory Theatre's presentation of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, a play-with-music written and performed by award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder (Broadway's George Gershwin Alone, Off-Broadway's Maestro; Our Great Tchaikovsky, and others). Directed by Trevor Hay, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin will play the Bagley Wright stage February 23-March 18, 2018 (opening night is February 28, 2018), and tickets are on sale now through the Seattle Rep Box Office at 206.443.2222 and online at SeattleRep.org.

Jerome Kern famously said "Irving Berlin has no place in American music-he is American music." George Gershwin called him "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived." Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin brings the man behind the iconic music to life in an evening reflecting his remarkable journey from child immigrant to America's most beloved and prolific songwriter. From Tin Pan Alley to Carnegie Hall, from The Great White Way to The Silver Screen, and from the pop charts to the steps of the nation's capital, Berlin's music provided America with the soundtrack of a century. Berlin's catalogue includes over 1,500 songs, 18 Broadway shows 16 feature films 232 top-10 hits, and 10 #1 hits. Berlin's songs have been performed by a diverse list of artists including: Fred Astaire, Aretha Franklin, Ethel Merman, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney Elvis Presley, Luciano Pavarotti, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Barbra Streisand, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, and Lady Gaga, to name a few. Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin features some of the composer's most popular and enduring songs including "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Always," "Blue Skies," "God Bless America," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "White Christmas."

"I'm delighted to welcome maestro Hershey Felder to the Rep this season," Braden Abraham, Seattle Rep Artistic Director commented. "His solo shows, in which he embodies a variety of musical masters such as George Gershwin, Beethoven, and Leonard Bernstein, are in a league of their own and have been produced everywhere from Los Angeles to the West End. We're very much looking forward to his stirring portrayal of 'America's Composer' Irving Berlin."

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin has previously played to rave reviews and broken box office records at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse, Chicago's Royal George Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Boston's Majestic Theatre, Portland Center Stage and New York's Town Hall. Future engagements are planned throughout the United States. David C. Nichols of The Los Angeles Times wrote "that indefatigable purveyor of composers, Hershey Felder, applies his singular blend of musical biography, character study, and piano virtuosity toward the iconic songwriter. The empathy, showmanship and craft on tap may just be the best match of historical figure and performing artist yet." Chris Jones writing in The Chicago Tribune raved "Felder is the impresario whose relationship with audiences is long-standing, intimate, and mutually adoring. Felder does his good guy proud." Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin features scenic design by Felder, lighting design by Richard Norwood, projection design by Christopher Ash and Lawrence Siefert, sound design/production management by Erik Carstensen, and historical and biographical research by Meghan Maiya. The show is produced by Eva Price, Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli, Joel Zwick, and Hershey Felder Presents.

ABOUT Hershey Felder (Irving Berlin/Playwright/Scenic Design) Writing in American Theatre, Hedy Weiss said, "Hershey Felder is in a category all his own." Over the past 20 years he has played over 4,500 performances of his self-created solo productions at the some of the world's most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. His shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre, West End's Duchess Theatre); Our Great Tchaikovsky; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik and Lincoln: An American Story. In addition, he performs concerts of "The Great American Songbook Sing-Along" at every theatre where his shows are presented. Future productions include musical revue Nathan Gunn Flying Solo and the new musical Chosen By God for which he is writing music, book, and lyrics. His compositions and recordings 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. Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for the very successful play with music, The Pianist of Willesden Lane and, for the musical Louis and Keely: "Live" at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford, he is the producer and designer. Hershey has operated a full-service Production Company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University's Department of Music, and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.


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