Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
The Immigrant Songwriter Who Gave America a Voice
Live from Florence, Italy
A one-time-only live-streamed broadcast musical event to benefit Berkeley Rep
Lyrics and music by Irving Berlin
Book by Hershey Felder
May 10, 2020 · 5pm
Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, plus a six-minute introduction and a 10-minute live talkback
Berkeley Rep originally presented Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin to sold-out houses in 2017. See it again, or see it for the first time in this special live-streamed event on Vimeo—a portion of the proceeds benefit Berkeley Rep. Experience some of America’s greatest songs in the context in which they were written! From “God Bless America,” to “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “White Christmas,” “Always,” and so many more…in a musical event that has been performed in theatres throughout the nation and abroad. Text Hershey your questions during the “encore” section and he’ll answer live, just as he does in the theatre!
Please ensure in advance of your purchase that you can view Vimeo videos on whichever device you’d like to enjoy the live stream. All sales are final. People who purchase by end of day May 7 will receive an email on May 8 by 9pm with the Vimeo link and an instructive video demonstration for viewing on your device. People who purchase after May 7 will receive this information within your emailed receipt.
Please note: Because this event is a benefit, discounts or account credits cannot be applied.
A note from Hershey Felder
Over the past 25 years, the stages of many theatres across the United States, including Berkeley Rep and TheatreWorks, have been my home for eleven out of twelve months each year. Yet, for the first time in all these years, I find myself at that elusive “home,” here in Florence, Italy; the place where the many things I have collected over the years live, and where the dog is king and allows me to visit from time to time. It was here in this city that the Piano and Opera were invented and the city was the centre of the Renaissance, where even today every molecule is still infused with art. It is a place that I had hoped, when all was said and done some years from now, would be the place where I could make music, write, and create, and then simply fade away with the most beautiful sunset that ever was. I could never have imagined that it would be because of such world tragedy and sadness, that I would find myself at “home.” As otherworldly as it is here, I am still drawn to the many theatres that have given me homes over the years, and so together we have created a nationwide event paying tribute to America’s greatest songwriter, Irving Berlin. Proceeds from this event will benefit each of the many participating theatres throughout the nation.
To present this event, we have recreated here in Florence, the set of Irving Berlin’s home on Beekman Place in Manhattan, and we have a film crew that has been safe and in quarantine here in Florence. If you’ve seen the production some time ago, there is some new additional material that speaks to our times, as well as a few surprises. Because audiences always request the now infamous “audience encore,” we have even made it possible for you to ask your questions by cellphone text directly to me during the encore section, and I will answer live, just as I do in the theatre. And yes, we will be coming to you live from our stage at 1am in Italy, 5pm on the West Coast, 7pm in the Midwest, and 8pm on the East Coast, in honor of the beautiful theatres across the nation, and in honor of all the Mothers on this unusual and special Mother’s Day.
I look forward to seeing you then.
Buoyantly tuneful…Performed with Felder’s customary pianistic flair and pitch-perfect vocals.”
San Francisco Chronicle
[Felder’s] got a great story to tell…Will put a tear in your eye and a song in your heart at the same time.”
San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
Felder is the impresario whose relationship with audiences is long-standing, intimate and mutually adoring.”
The whole show is pure magic, deeply moving, flawlessly entertaining, and it had the whole theater in Berkeley singing “White Christmas.” And “God Bless America.””
Napa Valley Register
That indefatigable purveyor of composers, Hershey Felder, applies his singular blend of musical biography, character study and piano virtuosity toward the iconic songwriter. The empathy, showmanship and craft on tap may just be the best match of historical figure and performing artist yet.”
Los Angeles Times
“He’s just brilliant!”
We originally presented Hershey Felder’s show in 2017. Get a glimpse of it and hear what audiences had to say in this video from our archives!