Jan 9, 2011 · 1 Comment

Hershey Felder Shines at Laguna Playhouse in Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein

Having seen all three of Hershey Felder’s previous shows at the Laguna Playhouse, we fully expected that Saturday night’s performance would be equally as engaging and entertaining as his portrayals of Gershwin, Chopin, and Beethoven. To say that we were not disappointed would be an understatement. Because Bernstein was more contemporary than Felder’s other choices, there was, logically, a more modern edge to this work. Drawing on research into Bernstein’s traditional Jewish upbringing and on-again, off-again, alternative lifestyle, Felder’s portrayal was uniquely emotional this time, with equal parts laughter and tears. And, of course, the Maestro’s work at the keyboards was typically superb, though it seemed there was less piano in this somewhat shorter program. It was a great pleasure to meet Mr. Felder following the performance, and to see the reaction of first-timers when they realized the man with the very long coal black hair was the same man who was a 1980s dapper, grey-haired Bernstein just moments earlier.  While Felder’s performances are not for everyone, we continue to highly recommend his shows for anyone who has any interest in, or appreciation for, classical and American orchestral music. Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein plays nightly at Laguna Playhouse through February 6, 2011. Hershey Felder returns to the Playhouse as Monsieur Chopin, February 17-20 and 24-27. Call 949.497.2787 for tickets or more information, or visit http://www.lagunaplayhouse.com

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On Jan 10, 2011 at 02:36 pm

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