Thursday, December 17, 2015

Berlin is back: Hershey Felder plays beloved composer with flair, feeling

Hershey Felder received a well deserved standing ovation opening night of his joyful homage to composer Irving Berlin.
STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
and courtesy LaJolla Playhouse

NO ONE embodies the spirit of American music -- its joy, sentimentality, originality and enthusiasm -- as much as did Russian born composer Irving Berlin.
And only one living human embodies Berlin's spirit, talent and uniquely "American" approach to musical theater and life.  Hershey Felder does.
His joyful homage to Berlin is beautifully staged at La Jolla Playhouse.  An elegant  living room, decked out with poinsettias and a Christmas tree, provide the setting for Felder's one-man interpretation of the joys, sorrows, triumphs and eccentricities of the beloved composer.
 Felder embodies the man in both grand and subtle ways.  As a young Berlin, he is full of bluster and bravado. He plays a loving husband, son, grieving father and Army recruit -- who hates to get up in the morning.... And as he reaches his centenary, he is stooped and hesitating, still with his characteristic humor. And through it all, the thread that binds is the music.
MORE CHRISTMAS EVE on this delightful and moving one-man show at La Jolla Playhouse. It runs through Jan. 3.



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