The Pianist of Willesden Lane comes to Geffen Playhouse

Jan 3, 2012
Geffen Playhouse

Acclaimed performer Hershey Felder returns to the Geffen Playhouse - but this time behind-the-scenes - as adapter and director of a new theatrical event: The Pianist of Willesden Lane, featuring award-winning musician Mona Golabek. This world premiere is a new addition to the Geffen Playhouse's 2011/2012 season and marks the third production performed in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The Pianist of Willesden Lane begins in previews on April 17, 2012 with an official opening night of April 25, 2012.

Set in 1938 Vienna, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who is dreaming about her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall. But with the issuing of new ordinances under Nazi regime, everything for Lisa changes, except for her love of music and the pursuit of her dream. Featuring some of the world's most beloved piano music played live, The Pianist of Willesden Lane is performer Mona Golabek's true family story, chronicling hope, survival and how through our darkest times, music has the power to help us survive.

"This beautiful tale told by Mona herself is performed in the style of musical storytelling that Geffen Playhouse audiences have come to know from me," said adapter/director Hershey Felder, creator and performer of audience favorites including George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven As I Knew Him and Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein. "Being able to work with Mona to present this piece has been an incredible joy both because her skill as a musician enables the evening to showcase some of the world's most beautiful and enduring piano music ever composed, and also because no one else could tell this story the way she can."