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Hershey Felder Returns to CPH as Irving Berlin

Posted June 2, 2017 in Press Releases

Cleveland Play House Proudly Presents Virtuoso Pianist

Hershey Felder in

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Special Limited Engagement June 7-17, 2018!

CLEVELAND, OH (May 31, 2017) Internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist Hershey Felder (Broadway’s George Gershwin Alone and Maestro Bernstein) will tickle the ivories as one of the most popular and prolific songwriters of the 20th century in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin. Throughout this one-man play-with-music, audiences will hear the stories behind the beloved musical catalogue of “America’s Composer” come to life on stage. Written and performed by award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder, and directed by Trevor Hay, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin will run June 7 – 24, 2018 for a special limited engagement!

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 is the musical story of an immigrant boy who gave a country its voice. It 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. 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.”

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, the 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 Cast and Creative Team

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 Hershey, included in Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals list, 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); 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 Tchaikovsky (January 2017 premiere at the San Diego Rep) 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.

(Director/Scenic Co-Designer) Trevor Hay directed the world premieres of An American Story for Actor and Orchestra, Abe Lincoln's Piano and Franz Liszt in Musik, and associate directed Mona Golabek's The Pianist of Willesden Lane. He is a former member of the historic Old Globe in San Diego where, at the age of nine, his first position was selling memorabilia. Over the next 32 years, he went on to various aspects of production on more than 80 presentations, including the Broadway productions of Jack O'Brien's Damn Yankees, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Twyla Tharp's The Times They Are A-Changin'. Included in his 23 seasons at The Old Globe were 11 seasons of the Summer Shakespeare Festival Repertory, as well as work on Tracy Letts' August: Osage County (directed by Sam Gold), and Hershey Felder's George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin and Maestro Bernstein.

The Design Team for Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin also includes RICHARD NORWOOD (lighting design), CHRISTOPHER ASH and LAWRENCE SIEFERT (projection design) and ERIK CARSTENSEN (sound design/production management).

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is produced by EVA PRICE, SAMANTHA F. VOXAKIS and KAREN RACANELLI.

Ticket Information

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin will take place in the Allen Theatre from June 7-24, 2018. Tickets range in price from $25-$80 each. 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.

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award® and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH 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. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates the beginning of its second century of service while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Play House is supported in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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