Hershey Felder

The Pasadena Playhouse announced that, by popular demand, Hershey Felder will return to The Pasadena Playhouse with a special presentation of the world premiere of LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY for Actor and Symphony Orchestra which will be performed in front of a 45-piece orchestra, preceded by his tour-de-force works, MONSIEUR CHOPIN - the love story of Frederic Chopin and the authoress George Sand, featuring Chopin's most beautiful piano music, and MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein - the hit production that has played nationwide.

All three works are written and performed by Hershey Felder and directed by Joel Zwick. Performances will begin February 28 - March 7 (MONSIEUR CHOPIN); March 10 - 18 (MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein); and March 27 - April 7 (LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY), with an official press opening for LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. The Hershey Felder Collection is A Special Presentation by The Pasadena Playhouse.

"Last season Hershey Felder brought Pasadena audiences his amazing portrayal of George Gershwin. The performance was very enthusiastically received, and we are thrilled that he has chosen to premiere LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY at The Pasadena Playhouse," said Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. "Hershey is truly a renaissance man - a writer, actor and accomplished musician - and only he could develop and bring to life such important and entertaining works. His collection of virtuoso performances will now be showcased for our audiences here in Pasadena, and we are thrilled."

MONSIEUR CHOPIN, MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein and LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY are all written and performed by Hershey Felder and directed by Joel Zwick. The creative team for MONSIEUR CHOPIN includes scenic design by Yael Pardess, lighting design by Richard Norwood, assistant lighting design by Margaret Hartmann, projection design by John Boesche, sound design by Benjamin Furiga, technical direction/production management by Matt Marsden and production consultant Jeffrey Kallberg, Ph.D. The creative team for MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein includes scenic and lighting design by Francois-Pierre Couture, assistant lighting design by Margaret Hartmann, projection design by Andrew Wilder and Francois-Pierre Couture, sound design by Erik Carstensen, technical direction/production management by Matt Marsden and production consultant Jeffrey Kallberg, Ph.D. The creative team for LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY will feature scenic designs and original projection creations by Trevor Hay and David Buess, lighting design by Chris Rynne, sound design by Erik Carstensen projection design by Andrew Wilder and technical direction by Trevor Hay.

MONSIEUR CHOPIN is a celebrated work about the life and music of legendary composer, Frederic Chopin. Audiences are invited to a private piano lesson that actually took place on March 4, 1848 in the opulent Parisian salon of the Polish maestro. As the lesson unfolds, Chopin reveals secrets about the art of the piano and composition, as well as secrets about himself in this intimate musical biography featuring Chopin's greatest works, including the Prelude in C Minor, Mazurka in A Flat Major, Polonaise in A Major, and his elegant Nocturnes. The Pasadena Playhouse's presentation of MONSIEUR CHOPIN will also include a newly-discovered cadenza in Chopin's own handwriting for his Nocturne in Eb, opus 9/2. The cadenza was uncovered in the collection of one of his student's families, written in pencil on a first edition print of the Nocturne from 1834, when Chopin first started teaching in Paris.

MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein, is Felder's newest composer creation, and has played to critical and popular acclaim at theatres throughout the country. With a story spanning the entire 20th century, Leonard Bernstein broke through every artistic ceiling possible to become the world's musical ambassador. Conductor, composer, pianist, author, teacher, librettist, television star...for Leonard Bernstein, boundaries simply did not exist.

LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY is Felder's newest work for actor and symphony orchestra. LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY is a true tale based on the words of Dr. Charles Augustus Leale - who in April of 1865 as a twenty-three year old medical student attended the April 14th performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC with President Lincoln in attendance. When the actor, John Wilkes Booth made his way into President Lincoln's box to assassinate him, a surgeon was called for, and Charles Leale, just a young American army surgeon found himself at the center of history that would change the world. Charles Leale only told the story of what he witnessed and was a part of that evening only once in his life as a sixty-three year old man - at a gathering of army friends at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City on the occasion of Lincoln's hundredth birthday in 1909. It is this story, the document of which resides at the Library of Congress, upon which this new musical/theatrical work is based.

In addition to the three productions, The Pasadena Playhouse will present two special performances of Hershey Felder'S GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK SING-ALONG on Monday, March 12 and March 19, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. Audiences will join Hershey Felder for a tour through an entire century of American music. Beginning with Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and the Gershwins through Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, featuring selections from The Sound of Music, Showboat, Fiddler on the Roof and more.