Hershey Felder, whose wonderful one-man-and-a-piano shows (“George Gershwin Alone,” “Maestro: Leonard Bernstein”) have enjoyed great success at Laguna Playhouse in recent years, is back in town with his latest effort. He’s changed his tune this time out, however—it’s a one-woman show starring award-winning concert pianist Mona Golabek, with Felder acting offstage as director.
“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” (through June 9 at the Laguna Playhouse), tells the story of Ms. Golabek’s mother, Lisa Jura, a young Jewish concert pianist in Nazi-occupied Europe. Not to be confused with the Roman Polanski film “The Pianist,” it’s adapted by Felder from the book “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Golabek and Lee Cohen.
Set in Vienna and London, the play recalls Golabek’s true family story, “chronicling hope, survival and how through our darkest times, music has the power to help us survive.” Golabek, a Grammy nominee, has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl and the Kennedy Center; her book has been adopted into school curricula across America. For info: (949) 497-2787.
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Gift guide: klezmer music and Israeli comedy
Celebrating Laurel & Hardy, and a forgotten Jewish comedian
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Meanwhile, the 20th annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival offers a number of good reasons to travel south of the OC border this coming month. Highlights include the Third Annual Klezmer Summit North County, featuring Klezmer Juice and Jewish Tango Club. This event blends the joys of traditional Klemzer music with South American Tango electricity, courtesy of Gustavo Bulgach from Argentina, plus the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir. Sunday, June 2, 2 p.m. at Avo Playhouse, 303 Main Street, Vista; (760) 724-2110.
The festival’s 12th Annual Klezmer Summit presents “Jews in Jazz,” paying homage to Jewish composers, impresarios, record producers, and performers. Featured are Yale Strom with his ensemble Hot Pstromi and special guest Fred Katz, 94-year-old cellist and composer, and former professor of ethnic music at Cal State Fullerton. Monday, June 3, 7:30 p.m. on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego Rep; http://www.sdrep.org or (619) 544-1000.
In celebration of the Lipinsky Festival’s 20th anniversary, Strom joins forces with choreographer John Malashock to present “Chagall,” a theatrical event depicting the life, art, and loves of painter Marc Chagall. Sunday, June 9, 7 p.m. at the Shank Theatre at La Jolla Playhouse. Free; donations appreciated. Please call (619) 544-1000 for reservations (limited seating).
More from Jordan:
Gene Kelly’s legacy alive and well, Ida Lupino behind the scenes
Wilson’s “Joe Turner” at Taper, early black recording artists
‘Machinal’ at Long Beach Playhouse, new ‘Doc Martin’ collection on DVD http://usedview.com/article/machinal-at-long-beach-playhouse-new-doc-martin-collection-on-dvd
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