Pittsfield, MA– Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) presents George Gershwin Alone, featuring acclaimed actor, playwright and accomplished pianist Hershey Felder(Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Maestro: Leonard Bernstein) in a limited run at The Colonial Theatre (111 South St), beginning August 24 and running through August 31. The show is directed by Tony Award-nominee Joel Zwick.
This production is sponsored by The Westfield News Group, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Shubert Foundation and Chocolate Springs.
Described by American Theatre Magazine as “a seductive portraitist, compelling storyteller, and superb concert pianist,” Hershey Felder comes to The Colonial Theatre for the first time in a detailed look at George Gershwin. The play-with-music is a tribute to the American Songbook and provides an intimate portrait of Gershwin’s early years, his personal life and his artistic genius. Rave reviews include: “charming…a deeply heartfelt valentine wrapped up in songs and stories” (Washington Post), “dazzling…sheer genius” (NY Daily News) and “glorious and fascinating” (USA Today).
George Gershwin Alone tells the story of America’s great composer, who is widely regarded as bringing jazz into the concert hall, changing the musical landscape forever. The show incorporates Gershwin’s best-known songs from “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” through the hits of An American In Paris and Porgy and Bess, to a complete performance of Rhapsody in Blue. Mr. Felder brings to life the spirit and talent of the legendary composer and pianist for the first time in history, leading the audience through the fascinating rhythms of Gershwin’s legendary songbook and his tragically short life.
George Gershwin was born in 1898 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn. Together, he and his brother Ira wrote standards such as “Embraceable You,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “I Got Rhythm,” “S Wonderful” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.” His groundbreaking opera Porgy and Bess is now considered an American classic. All told, George Gershwin wrote more than 1,000 songs for the stage and screen, as well as works for the opera house and the symphony orchestra. In 1937, Gershwin died of an undiagnosed brain tumor at the age of 38, never knowing how famous and beloved he and his work would become.
George Gershwin Alone is produced with Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli and Lee Kaufman.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield; at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge; by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.
Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone
Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin
Book by Hershey Felder
Directed by Joel Zwick
at The Colonial Theatre
BTG’s Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street
Opening/Press Night: Saturday, August 24 at 8pm
Closing: Saturday, August 31 at 8pm
Sponsored by: The Westfield News Group, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Shubert Foundation, Chocolate Springs
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Joel Zwick (Director) directed My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. Mr. Zwick directed the Broadway production of George Gershwin Alone; he and Hershey Felder have also collaborated on Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven and Maestro. Mr. Zwick has directed Broadway, Off Broadway and Broadway touring companies and began his theatrical career at La Mama E.T.C., as director of the La Mama Plexus. New York productions have included: Dance with Me(Tony nomination), Shenandoah (Broadway national tour), Oklahoma! (national tour) and Cold Storage (American Place Theater). Mr. Zwick is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors of episodic television, having the direction of over 650 episodes to his credit. He has taught drama at Yale University, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Wheaton College, and the University of Southern California and is a graduate (B.A., M.A.) of Brooklyn College.
Hershey Felder (George Gershwin, Playwright) Named to Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Hershey Felder has played over 5,000 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. American Theatre Magazine has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” His shows include: George Gershwin Alone(Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik, Lincoln: An American Story, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, and A Paris Love Story. Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Steinway artist Mona Golabek; producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of Anna and Sergei, a play featuring the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, and a new musical based on the award-winning book Out on a Ledge by Eva Libitzky. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.
Limited Run of
George Gershwin Alone
About Berkshire Theatre Group
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. In 2010, under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, the two organizations merged to form Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG). Berkshire Theatre Group’s mission is to support wide ranging artistic exploration and acclaimed performances in theatre, dance, music and entertainment. Every year, BTG produces and presents performances to over 68,000 attendees and, through our Educational Program, serves over 13,000 Berkshire County schoolchildren annually. BTG’s celebrated stages reflect the history of the American theatre; they represent a priceless cultural resource for the community.