Actors Theatre: the Story and Music of America’s Composer

Elizabeth Greenfield


Louisville, KY- Actors Theatre of Louisville announces the upcoming production of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, onstage in the Pamela Brown Auditorium from January 29 – February 17, 2019, part of the Brown-Forman series and directed by Trevor Hay.

Virtuosic performer Hershey Felder leads audiences on a music-filled journey through the legendary career of Irving Berlin. From Berlin’s humble beginnings to hitting it big writing for Broadway and Hollywood, Felder offers a lively portrait of the composer as a Jewish immigrant, American patriot, and devoted husband. The New Yorker raved, "Felder is an exquisite singer and a virtuosic pianist, and his love for Berlin's music fills the theatre."

Featuring cherished standards such as “God Bless America” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin melds story and song in a love letter to a man whose work helped define our national songbook.

Named to Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Hershey Felder has played over 5,000 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.”

Felder’s 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, and Our Great Tchaikovsky. 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 The Story of My Cello, a solo work for cello virtuoso Antonio Lysy.  

Trevor Hay has directed the world premieres of An American Story for Actor and Orchestra, Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt In Musik and Our Great Tchaikovsky. He is Associate Director for Mona Golabek’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Former member of the historic Old Globe Theatre in San Diego where, at the age of nine, his first position was selling Old Globe memorabilia; in his 23 seasons at the Old Globe were eleven seasons of the summer Shakespeare Festival Repertory, as well as work on Tracy Lett’s August: Osage County, directed by Sam Gold, and Hershey Felder’s George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin and Maestro Bernstein.

The production team features scenic design by Hershey Felder, lighting design by Richard Norwood, projections design by Christopher Ash and Lawrence Siefert, sound design by Erik Carstensen, and historical & biographical research by Meghan Maiya. Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is produced by Eva Price, Samantha F. Voxakis, and Karen Racanelli.

Single tickets are now on sale, starting at $25. Students (full-time, with valid ID) receive 10% off up to two single tickets to selected performances, subject to availability. Same-day student rush tickets are also available for $24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Actors Theatre Box Office at 502.584.1205 or online at Special ticket rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 502.585.1210.

The Theatre will offer an open captioned performance on February 9 and an audio described performance on February 10. For more information on the facilities and all services offered, 

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is made possible in part by series sponsor Brown-Forman, the Kentucky Arts Council and Fund for the Arts.

To reserve tickets to review, to request images, or for any other press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Public Relations Manager, at 502.584.1265 ext. 3041 or [email protected]