By William Nedved
Actor and pianist Hershey Felder returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for the Los Angeles premiere of Our Great Tchaikovsky beginning Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, August 6.
Directed by Felder collaborator Trevor Hay, Hershey Felder’s Our Great Tchaikovsky is a time-bending tale of music, politics and one of the world’s most beloved composers.
Known for his beautiful ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and the ferocious and melodic brilliance of his symphonic works, piano concerti, overtures, operas and chamber music, a healthy 53-year-old Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his enigmatic Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” and nine days later was dead. To this day, how and why he died is still a mystery.
The world premiere of Our Great Tchaikovsky at San Diego Repertory Theatre and a subsequent engagement at Laguna Playhouse broke box office records and received universal acclaim by critics. The Orange County Register declared, “Our Great Tchaikovsky unquestionably rates as one of Felder’s most dazzling shows.” Other reviews: “A powerful emotional experience” (San Diego Union-Tribune) while the Times of San Diego called it “sheer stage magic. Felder is an accomplished actor, writer and pianist. You’ll have to see this marvelous production.”
“It’s always wonderful to return to Los Angeles, the city where these stage stories began more than 20 years ago with George Gershwin Alone,” said Felder. “In particular, it is wonderful to return to the magnificent Wallis, where music resonates so beautifully. Being able to perform for the Los Angeles audiences who—over the years and nine productions have numbered in the hundreds of thousands—is always an honor and a homecoming.”
On Monday, July 31 at 8pm, The Wallis presents a special one-night-only performance of Hershey Felder’s The Great American Songbook Sing-Along, taking audiences through 100 years of American music from the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and many more. Audiences are encouraged to sing along with Felder as he leads them through the familiar notes of their favorite songs.
Single tickets for “Our Great Tchaikovsky” are now available for $35-$100 at TheWallis.org/Felder, and single tickets for “The Great American Songbook Sing-Along” are now available for $25–$55 at TheWallis.org. For more information or to purchase tickets visit TheWallis.org, call (310)746-4000 or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills.