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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin extension announcement

WORLD PREMIERE PLAYS ON: HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN
EXTENDS BY POPULAR DEMAND FOR TWO ADDED WEEKS
DIRECTED BY TREVOR HAY

EXTENSION ANNOUNCED – NOW THROUGH JANUARY 4, 2015
IN THE GIL CATES THEATER AT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT SPECIAL PERFORMANCES OF
HERSHEY FELDER’S THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK SING-ALONG

LOS ANGELES (Nov 24, 2014) Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is now on-stage in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. The director is Trevor Hay, who collaborated with the performer and playwright on An American Story, Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt and The Pianist of Willesden Lane.

Due to popular demand, the world premiere production has been extended through January 4, 2015. Included are special New Year’s Eve performances of Hershey Felder’s The Great American Songbook Sing-Along.
Felder brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, long thought of as America’s composer, who enjoyed 232 top-10 hits and 25 number-one songs. From the depths of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia, to New York’s Lower East Side, and ultimately all of the country and the world, Irving Berlin’s story epitomizes capturing the American Dream.

Featuring the composer’s most popular and enduring songs from “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Always,” “Blue Skies,” “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” to "White Christmas,” and the score of “Annie Get Your Gun,” Felder’s signature creation of character and musical performance will make this evening with Irving Berlin an unforgettable journey.

Jerome Kern famously said, "Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music."

The creation of this latest work is inextricably linked to Felder’s strong relationship with the Geffen Playhouse. The nonprofit theater’s late founder, Gil Cates, met Felder in 1997 and suggested the development of a piece about Irving Berlin. Felder developed, and the Geffen Playhouse presented, several other projects over the years but Cates persisted with his request. While Felder had focused on classical composers during much of that time, he found Irving Berlin increasingly compelling. The work weaves a narrative around Berlin’s 101 year lifespan including his long and heartening relationship with his wife, battles against anti-Semitism and, of course, his storied music.

Separately, Broadway producer Eva Price approached Felder with the idea of creating a piece about Irving Berlin. Price organized an introduction with Ted Chapin, who oversees publishing of the Berlin catalog and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Chapin arranged a meeting with Irving Berlin’s daughters who encouraged the production, and have advised on the factual details of their father’s life.




Geffen Playhouse presents the
Eighty Eight Entertainment, Eva Price and Samantha F. Voxakis production of
Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
Lyrics & Music by Irving Berlin
Book by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
Featuring Hershey Felder
World Premiere Now Extended: Through Sunday, January 4, 2015

DESIGNERS
Scenic Design: Hershey Felder & Trevor Hay
Lighting Design: Christopher Rynne
Projection Design: Andrew Wilder
Sound Design & Production Manager: Erik Carstensen

REGULAR PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE*
Schedule now through December 21
Monday No performance
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Schedule December 22 through January 4
Monday 8:00pm (December 22 and 29 only)
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm and 7:00pm
New Year’s Eve 7:00pm and 10:00pm**

*Please note, there will be no performances on December 24, 25 or January 1.
Visit www.geffenplayhouse.org for an updated performance calendar.

**For the 10:00pm performance of Hershey Felder’s The Great American Songbook Sing-Along, there will be a post-show champagne toast and dessert reception.

TICKET INFORMATION
Ticket prices are currently $49 - $84 for Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin and $125 - $175 for the New Year’s Eve performances of Hershey Felder’s The Great American Songbook Sing-Along and are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees apply.

LOCATION
Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024

ABOUT HERSHEY FELDER
Hershey Felder performed George Gershwin Alone on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre and on the West End at Duchess Theatre. His Composers Sonata (1999–2014)—George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro; and Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Musik—has been presented at dozens of theatres across the U.S. and around the world, including a command performance of Monsieur Chopin for the Polish Ambassador to the United States. He received Los Angeles Ovation Awards for Best Musical and Best Actor for George Gershwin Alone in 2007, and live broadcasts of the production have been aired worldwide. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. As director, Mr. Felder premiered Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Geffen Playhouse in April 2012 and recently premiered Chris Lemmon inJack Lemmon Returns. Mr. Felder has been a scholar in residence at Harvard University’s department of music and is married to Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada.

ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice, Chief Development Officer Regina Miller and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.