Sunday, November 08, 2015

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Not ready for Christmas yet?
Relax, this is only a set.

The name of the show is Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, and it's playing at the Royal George Theatre here in Chicago. It's one of these one-actor biography shows. Felder's good, the biography was interesting, and the songs were standards. I would say that nowadays the songs are much better known than the author of the songs, and so a lot of the show consists in explaining what was going on in Berlin's life and mind when he was writing these songs, such as White Christmas, God Bless America, Putting On The Ritz, and on and on.

I saw Felder before, some years ago, playing George Gershwin in a similar one-man show. That one was just called Gershwin Alone. It didn't have Felder's name the title.

But he's done lots more. The Wikipedia article, which kind of sounds like it was written by a publicist, has this:

"Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning in Beethoven, As I Knew Him, Leonard Bernstein in Maestro Bernstein, Franz Liszt in Musik, and Irving Berlin in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin."

I guess he's doing all right,
playing every composer in sight!

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