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Grammy-Nominated Concert Pianist Mona Golabek to Star in "The Pianist of Willesden Lane"

Posted February 10, 2015 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND, OH (February 10, 2015) At age 14, pianist Lisa Jura is separated from everything and everyone she knows and loves. In The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Jura’s daughter, renowned pianist Mona Golabek, brings her mother’s true tale of survival and triumph to the stage. The Pianist of Willesden Lane is a deeply moving story infused with hope and the life-affirming power of music. Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, and adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, The Pianist of Willesden Lane will run from February 27 – March 22 in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

Mona Golabek is an internationally renowned Grammy-nominated classical concert pianist. Her mother, Lisa Jura, was also a pianist and taught Mona to play. These lessons soon became about more than just technique. They became life lessons, with Lisa recalling stories from her own childhood as a Kindertransport refugee playing piano inLondon. With live performances of beloved classics by Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy, Mona transports the audience to the worlds of 1938 Vienna and WWII London and tells her mother’s fascinating story. It is a story of hardship and triumph, of setting out on your own and never giving up, and of the deep enduring love between parent and child.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley comments: “Legacy is a central theme of each CPH production this season and the relationship between parent and child is perhaps the most powerful, and certainly most personal, example of the impact of legacy on our lives. Through this performance and the book on which it is based, Mona is carrying forth this legacy by sharing her mother’s triumphant story with audiences all across the country. It is an honor to bring this important event to Northeast Ohio.”

The Pianist of Willesden Lane is recommended for ages 10+. The play contains content and themes including war and the Holocaust.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane Cast

Mona Golabek (Lisa Jura) American concert pianist Mona Golabek has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, and Royal Festival Hall. She is a Grammy nominee who has been the subject of several documentaries, including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta. Her syndicated radio program, The Romantic Hours, combines music with poetry. Her recordings include Carnival of the Animals and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite featuring Meryl Streep, both recorded with Mona’s sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye. Both daughters were taught by their mother, Lisa Jura, who is the subject of Mona’s acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane. Mona founded Hold On To Your Music, a foundation devoted to spreading the message of the power of music. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources which, with her book, have been adopted into school curricula across America.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane Creative Team

Erik Carstensen (Sound Designer/Production Manager), Cynthia Caywood (Dramaturg), Hershey Felder (Director/Adaptor), Trevor Hay (Associate Director/Scenic Co-Designer), Jaclyn Maduff (Executive Director/Costume Designer), Christopher Rynne (Lighting Designer), Greg Sowizdrzal (Projection Co-Designer), Samantha F. Voxakis (General Manager/Producer), Andrew Wilder (Projection Co-Designer).

Full bios available at, or by request.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane Special Events - InsideCPH

Behind-the-Scenes: Put Your Story in the Spotlight

Saturday, February 28, 2015 @11:00 am-12:30pm

Join Mona Golabek, CPH Playwrights’ Unit Member Eric Schmiedl, and local theatre artist and writing coach Lisa Beth Allen, for conversation and pen-to-paper activities to help you put your story on the page, or the stage.

RSVP required

CPH Script Club

Wednesday, February 18 @ 7:00-8:15pm /Cleveland Hts. – University Hts. Library

Wednesday, February 25 @ 7:00-8:15pm /Medina CountyPublic LibraryMainBranch

Thursday, Wednesday 26 @7:00-8:15pm /Cuyahoga CountyPublic Library – Beachwood Branch

RSVP required. Registration with participating libraries opens one month before each event. Visit for details

Free pre-show conversations occur 45 minutes prior to every performance.

Free post-show TalkBacks will be held after the Sunday, March 8, Tuesday, March 10 and Sunday, March 15 performances.

Ticket Information

The Pianist of Willesden Lane will take place February 27 – March 22 in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square. Tickets range in price from $39-$79 each. Students under the age of 25 with a valid ID will be offered a special $15 ticket price. Tickets are also just $25 for anyone under age 35, sponsored by Scene Magazine. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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