San Diego Repertory Theatre Presents the World Premiere of:
‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’
A New Play with Music
Written & Performed by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
Dramaturgy by Meghan Maiya
January 12 – February 12, 2017
(Press Opening: Wednesday, January 18, 2017)
SAN DIEGO – November 10, 2016 – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) will present the world premiere of “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” a new play with music featuring the compositions of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with a book and performance by Hershey Felder. Directed by longtime collaborator Trevor Hay (“Hershey Felder as Irving Berling”), and produced by long-time collaborators Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli and Erik Carstensen, Felder’s newest work takes on Russia’s most celebrated, and perhaps most mysterious, composer. “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” the fourth selection of the 2016/2017 season, begins on Thursday, January 12, 2017 and plays through Sunday, February 12, 2017 with an opening night on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 7 p.m. on the Lyceum Stage Theatre at San Diego REP in Horton Plaza.
“Tchaikovsky’s music has mesmerized me since first hearing his 6th symphony, the ‘Pathetique’ casually playing on our home radio. Four decades later, I’ve been invited to create the character of Tchaikovsky on the stage and what I have encountered as part of the journey is nothing short of amazing and terrifying,” says Felder. “For the first time in creating these classical characters, rather than just present a story, I will do something I have never done before: show the audience how the character is created. And in so doing, hope to discover the great Tchaikovsky himself.”
"Virtuosity is one of the central ongoing quests of our artistic efforts. There is no artist who more perfectly deserves to be called a virtuoso than Hershey Felder,” says Sam Woodhouse, San Diego REP Artistic Director. “He is simply one of the most gifted writers/actors/musicians to ever play the Lyceum in San Diego REP's 40 year history. We are honored and thrilled to host Hershey and his world premiere new play."
Returning to The REP after a two-week run of his highly acclaimed and record breaking turn as Leonard Bernstein in “MAESTRO,” Hershey Felder premieres this new work in his line of shows centered around the world’s greatest composers and musicians. “Our Great Tchaikovsky” is a world premiere time-bending story of culture and politics that explores the mystery around some of the greatest music ever composed.
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is Russia’s most famous composer and one of the greatest composers of all time. Among his masterworks are “Romeo and Juliet,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker,”; “Violin Concerto,” “Piano Concerto no. 1,” “Rococo Variations for Cello”; the“1812 Overture” and “Marche Slav”; the opera “Eugene Onegin”; the Symphony no. 6, “Pathétique,” “ and so many more. Of the last Symphony, his “Pathétique,” he said: “Let them guess what it means…” Nine days after he conducted that symphony's premiere in St. Petersburg as a healthy man, at the age of 53, the great composer was dead, and to this day, how and why is still a mystery. “Our Great Tchaikovsky” explores the possibilities.
Directed by Trevor Hay, the creative team also includes Hershey Felder (Scenic Designer), Abigail Cayqood (Costume Designer), Christopher Ash (Lighting and Projections Designer), Erik Carstensen (Sound Designer), Meghan Maiya (Research and Dramaturgy), Rebecca Peters (Stage Manager).
Hershey Felder (Performer/Playwright). Writing in “American Theatre,” Hedy Weiss said, "Hershey Felder is in a category all his own." Over the past 20 years he has played over 4,500 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world's most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. His shows include: “George Gershwin Alone” (Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre, West End's Duchess Theatre); “Monsieur Chopin”; “Beethoven”; “Maestro (Leonard Bernstein)”; “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin”; “Franz Liszt in Musik” and “Lincoln: An American Story.” In addition, he performs concerts of "The Great American Song Book Singalong" at every theatre where his shows are presented. Future productions include the new musical, “Chosen by God” for which he is writing music, book and lyrics. 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 very successful play with music, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” and for the new musical “Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara,” directed by Taylor Hackford, he is the producer and designer. 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.
Trevor Hay (Director) has worked with Felder on several productions including “An American Story for Actor and Orchestra,” “Abe Lincoln's Piano,” “Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt In Musik” and “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” Hay began working with the historic Old Globe Theatre in San Diego at the age of nine, where he held his first position of selling Old Globe memorabilia. Over the next 32 years, he went on to various aspects of production on more than 80 presentations, including the Broadway productions of “Damn Yankees,” “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and Twyla Tharp'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.
“Our Great Tchaikovsky”
Written & Performed by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
Dramaturgy by Meghan Maiya
Previews: Thursday, January 12 – Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Opening Night: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Closing Night: Sunday, February 12, 2017
Cast (in order of appearance)
Trevor Hay, Director
Hershey Felder, Scenic Designer
Abigail Caywood, Costume Designer
Christopher Ash, Lighting and Projections Designer
Erik Carstensen, Sound Designer
Meghan Maiya, Research/Dramaturgy
Rebecca Peters, Stage Manager
Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli, Erik Carstensen, Producers
· Thursday, January 12 at 8 p.m.
· Friday, January 13 at 8 p.m.
· Saturday, January 14 at 8 p.m.
· Sunday, January 15 at 7 p.m.
· Tuesday, January 17 at 7 p.m.
· Wednesday, January 18 at 7 p.m.
· Thursday, January 19 at 8 p.m.
· Friday, January 20 at 8 p.m.
· Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m.
· Sunday, January 22 at 2 p.m.
· Sunday, January 22 at 7 p.m.
· Wednesday, January 25 at 7 p.m.
· Thursday, January 26 at 8 p.m.
· Friday, January 27 at 8 p.m.
· Saturday, January 28 at 2 p.m.
· Saturday, January 28 at 8 p.m.
· Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m.
· Sunday, January 29 at 7 p.m.
· Tuesday, January 31 at 7 p.m.
· Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m.
· Thursday, February 2 at 8 p.m.
· Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m.
· Saturday, February 4 at 4 p.m.
· Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m.
· Sunday, February 5 at 2 p.m.
· Wednesday, February 8 at 7 p.m.
· Thursday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
· Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
· Saturday, February 11 at 2 p.m.
· Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m.
· Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m.
· Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets range from $61 to $102 and can be purchased in-person at the San Diego REP Box Office, by calling 619.544.1000 or online at sdrep.org. Active military, teacher and senior discounts are available. Student tickets are available for all performances for just $20 each. Prices subject to change.
San Diego Repertory Theatre
79 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101-6144
San Diego REP patrons may now park in the 225 Broadway Building (formerly the NBC Building) parking garage. Parking information will be sent upon purchase.
About San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes 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 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 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 www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sandiegorep) and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).
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