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Featuring a full performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” and many other Gershwin hits
Directed by Joel Zwick
Julianne Argyros Stage

Jan 18-28, 2024

Michael Ray


South Coast Plaza

Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone

A Play with Music

George Gershwin Alone tells the story of America’s great composer, who with the groundbreaking “Rhapsody in Blue,” made a “Lady out of Jazz.” The show incorporates the composer'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 “The Man I Love,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “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.

Running time: Approximately one hours and 45 minutes, with no intermission.

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About the Creative Team

Following 28 years of continuous stage work and over 6,000 live performances throughout the U.S. and abroad, Hershey Felder created Live from Florence, An Arts Broadcasting Company, which has produced eighteen theatrical films to date. They include the recently-released The Assembly; Musical Tales in The Venetian Jewish Ghetto; Chopin and Liszt in Paris; Violetta, the story of Verdi’s Traviata; Dante and Beatrice in Florence; Mozart and Figaro in Vienna, the world premiere musicals Nicholas, Anna & Sergei; the story of Sergei Rachmaninoff; Puccini, the story of famed opera composer Giacomo Puccini; Before Fiddler, a musical story about writer Sholem Aleichem; Great American Songs and the Stories Behind Them, Leonard Bernstein and the Israel Philharmonic, a documentary. Two seasons of programming are currently available at Felder has given performances of his solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has consistently broken box office records. His live 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 and Chopin in Paris. His compositions include the opera The Fourth Man which will have its world premiere in Florence, Italy in July 2023, 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. 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.

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 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). He acted in the original New York production of MacBird and directed Esther (Promenade Theater, NY), Merry-Go-Round (Chicago and Las Vegas), Last Chance Saloon and Woycek (West End). 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 (BA, MA) of Brooklyn College.

Trevor Hay (Associate Director) directed the world premieres of An American Story for Actor and Orchestra, Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Musik, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, and A Paris Love Story. He is Associate Director for Mona Golabek’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane, George Gershwin Alone, and Hershey Felder in Maestro. Former member of the historic Old Globe Theatre in San Diego where, at the age of 9, his first position was selling The Old Globe memorabilia. Over the next 32 years, Hay went on to various aspects of production on more than 80 presentations, including the Broadway productions of Jack O’Brien’s Damn Yankees, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Twyla Tharpe’s The Times They Are A-Changin’. Included in his 23 seasons at The Old Globe were 11 seasons of the Summer Shakespeare Festival Repertory, as well as work on Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, directed by Sam Gold, and Hershey Felder’s George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin and Maestro.

Michael Gilliam (Lighting Design) brings a diverse list of credits that includes Broadway productions Bonnie and Clyde, Brooklyn, Big River, Stand-Up Tragedy. The West End: George Gershwin Alone. Off-Broadway: Cagney The Musical, Mr. Joy, The Best Is Yet to Come, Striking 12, Blue, End of The World Party, Zooman and The Sign, Menopause The Musical. National Tours: Spamilton, Looped, Peter Pan, Brooklyn, Guys and Dolls, Big River. Extensive work in many regional theatres across the United States. Awards: Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Dramalogue Awards, Garland Awards, San Diego Critics’ Circle Awards and the 1999 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Erik Carstensen (Sound Designer/Production Manager) has worked for Eighty-Eight Entertainment since 2008. He has served as sound designer on Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, A Paris Love Story, Maestro, Louis and Keely ‘Live’ at the Sahara, An American Story, Beethoven As I Knew Him (Ovation Award Winner), The Pianist of Willesden Lane (Ovation Award Nomination), and numerous other productions. Formerly, he was the master sound technician at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and was production engineer on more than 60 productions, including Allegiance, Robin and the Seven Hoods, A Catered Affair, Hershey Felder’s George Gershwin Alone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Chita Rivera-A Dancer’s Life, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Full Monty, Dirty Blonde, and Floyd Collins.

Tammy Globerman (Associate Producer) Based in Los Angeles, Globerman joined the Hershey Felder Presents team in the summer of 2020. She worked with Hershey on his earlier projects in the late 1990’s and 2000’s before working with talent agencies specializing in below-the-line talent for film and television. After taking some time off to be with her two children, she is excited to be working again with Hershey and his team. 

Lee Kaufman (Associate Producer) is a business entrepreneur and musicologist with an interest in classical music that extends from Gregorian Chants in the Middle Ages through to the modern composers. George Gershwin has always been of special interest to him for the part the composer has played in bringing America into the classical culture. In addition to this association, Kaufman has been an active participant in many organizations promoting the performing arts.

Samantha F. Voxakis (Director of Operations) Since shortly after joining the company in early 2004, Voxakis has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of Eighty-Eight LLC and Hershey Felder Presents. Prior to that, she spent 12 memorable years in the front office of the Baltimore Orioles. With special thanks to her family and Mr. Felder.

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