Hershey Felder: Beethoven to be streamed live from Florence, Italy on Sunday, July 12 benefitting US arts organizations and creative artists
San Diego, CA – June, 2020 – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) and Hershey Felder Presents announced today the details of Hershey Felder: Beethoven, streamed live from Florence, Italy. Following on the heels of the wildly successful live stream of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, renowned performer Hershey Felder will present his one-man show, Hershey Felder: Beethoven streamed live on Sunday, July 12 at 5 PM PDT. Tickets are $55 per household and will be available for purchase soon at sdrep.org/beethoven or 619.544.1000. The event will also feature a $25,000 arts prize to be awarded to one of five finalists of a Beethoven-themed video content competition, the winner of which will be chosen by viewers of the live stream.*
The live streaming event features the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, text by Felder, and is based on the original stage play direction by Joel Zwick. As with Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, this production will benefit national US theatres and arts organizations. Felder will also donate a portion of the proceeds to the Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, MN., to support the work of Black theatre artists.
In the tradition of his popular after-performance audience ‘encore,’ Felder has created the Hershey Felder Presents Arts Prize Competition, in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birth year. This prize of $25,000 be awarded to one of five artist finalists submitting “anything Beethoven” as inspiration for their video presentation. The five finalists will be presented at the completion of Hershey Felder: Beethoven. Viewers will be eligible to vote, with the winner announced one hour after the completion of voting. All competition information is available here: https://www.hersheyfelder.net/contest-page
Hershey Felder: Beethoven is based on Memories of Beethoven: Out of the House of Black-Robed Spaniards, a first-hand account by Dr. Gerhard von Breuning. (‘Schwarzspanierhaus,’ or House of Black-Robed Spaniards, was the name of Beethoven’s final residence in Vienna, Austria, where he died in 1827). Felder brings Beethoven to life through the eyes of Viennese doctor Breuning, who spent his boyhood by the aging Maestro’s side. The one-man musical play features some of the composer’s most well-known compositions from his keyboard works such as the “Emperor Concerto” to the 5th and 9th Symphonies, his keyboard sonatas, and chamber music selections. Hershey Felder: Beethoven is produced by Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli and Erik Carstensen.
Critically lauded in its world premiere at TheaterWorks Silicon Valley in 2017, the San Jose Mercury News called Hershey Felder: Beethoven a “towering performance about a towering composer.” Significantly, BroadwayWorld reported that Hershey Felder: Beethoven shattered box office records at TheatreWorks, establishing a new record for the 48-year-old company, which has since been maintained. Following the world premiere, the production then broke records at San Diego REP (the highest grossing production in its 40-year history), and was the highest grossing production at the Wallis Annenberg in Los Angeles, The Laguna Playhouse and the Leo K. Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Felder attributes this success to the tremendous popularity of the world’s greatest composer.
Director Joel Zwick has previously collaborated with Felder on George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin and Maestro Bernstein. Zwick is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors of episodic television and has directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and for Broadway touring companies as well as directing the highest-grossing film comedy of all time My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Associate Director is Trevor Hay. Scenic design is by Hershey Felder. Costume design is from Theatr’ Hall, Paris. Film production is by Montagni Audiovisivi. Live editing is by Stefano DeCarli. Live broadcast by Rich Flier. Sound design and production are by co-Producer Erik Carstensen.
In addition to the announcement of this new live streamed performance, Felder has created a new arts broadcasting company, Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence. The collaboration unites Felder with Florentine cinema group Montagni Audiovisivi, the internationally recognized English language magazine The Florentine, and American broadcaster Rich Flier, to produce high quality streaming arts programming for international audiences, both for the period while theatres remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and beyond.
For tickets and more information on how to view Hershey Felder: Beethoven, streamed live, visit sdrep.org/beethoven.
*No registration fee or purchase necessary to enter competition. Parental consent required for anyone under 19. Registration ends 7/6/20. Submissions must be uploaded by 7/7/20, subject to live “Voting Period” on 7/12/20. Open to U.S. legal residents who are 13 years of age or older at time of entry. Subject to full Official Rules available at https://www.hersheyfelder.net/contest-page. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
About Hershey Felder ….Named to Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Hershey Felder has played over 6,000 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. 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. 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 Anna and Sergei, a new play featuring the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, as well as 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.
About San Diego Repertory Theatre … San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, provocative and inclusive theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting an interconnected community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 54 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 45 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit sdrep.org