Our Great Tchaikovsky Review - An Artist with Secrets

Actor and pianist Hershey Felder has hit the ball out of the park – again! Felder was recently named to Time Magazine’s “2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals.” He has managed to bring new life, both artistic and intimate, to a host of iconic musical greats, including Gershwin, Chopin, Beethoven, and Liszt.

Hershey Felder as Tchaikovsky - Photo courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Felder is a sensation in the Los Angeles premiere of OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVKY, the life, loves, politics, and pain of one of the world’s most beloved composers.  Tchaikovsky composed some of the music world’s favorites, including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker,” and a multitude of symphonies, piano concerti, overtures, operas, and chamber music. A prolific creator of music that will live forever, Tchaikovsky’s death remains a mystery to this day. This healthy, creative man died at the age of 53, only nine days after his Symphony No. 6 (“Pathetique") was first presented. Was his death from natural causes? Murder? Suicide? To this day, no one is sure how this brilliant innovator’s life ended.

Hershey Felder at the Piano - Photo courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Words like “dazzling,” “powerful,” and “magic” have been used to describe Hershey Felder’s performance as Tchaikovsky. This masterful showman injects a very personal story into the standard biography of this iconic artist extraordinaire – all the while stroking his piano keys to the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s greatest. Felder must truly have two brains – one grasping the essence of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s artistry on the keyboard and the other telling Tchaikovsky’s emotional tale as only a talented raconteur can.

Hershey Felder as Tchaikovsky, Composer - Photo courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

But there’s another star on that stage with the impressive Felder, and that’s Felder’s scenic design coupled with Christopher Ash’s lighting and projection design. Without moving a stick of furniture, the scenes change before the audience’s eyes – and even the paintings in a frame artfully placed nearby morph as the story progresses. Not the smallest detail has been ignored. This is a special treat within a deluxe bonus – Tchaikovsky’s soaring melodies, Felder’s emotional lines, and constant subtle shifts in concept and scene – all blended into a moving and unforgettable whole.

Hershey Felder Playing Tchaikovsky - Photo courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Director Trevor Hay keeps the action moving with impeccable skill as the story behind a musical genius slowly unfolds. Erik Carstensen’s sound and Abigail Caywood’s costumes add the cherry on top of a superb production. Whether you’re a music lover or not, OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY will thrill you. For a magic moment in theater, don’t miss this memorable production. Hershey Felder has done it again!

Hershey Felder - Photo courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

SPLASH SELECTION

OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY runs through August 13, 2017, with performances at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The Bram Goldsmith Theater is located at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Tickets range from $35 to $100. For information and reservations, call 310-746-4000 or go online.   

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