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Hershey Felder Wows Audience as Claude Debussey

by Valerie Summers

The multi-talented Hershey Felder filled the house on opening night at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.  Multi-talented is an understatement when describing this brilliant actor, playwright, composer, virtuoso pianist, set designer, singer and storyteller who possesses an impressive and intimate knowledge of the personal history of those he portrays. Felder transformed himself onstage into the great Claude Debussy in A Paris Love Story, part of The Great Composer series.

Hershey Felder brings the innovative composer to life onstage in his inimitable style. Originally considered a man of little talent with his original compositions Debussey continued to create although he appeared to have almost everything working against him.  He eventually made his mark after ongoing rejection and is regarded as one of the greats. On stage Felder took the audience on a voyage through Debussy’s life from childhood…the good and the bad.  He was evidentially quite a rascal but his music reflected a sensitive, creative and unique person of enormous talent. This Impressionist composer claimed nature to be his religion and romance his milieu which is discovered in his compositions. Felder’s performance examined the results the rejection and pain which the composer suffered throughout his life but which was not reflected in his magical music.  Felder, who has a very personal connection to the composer’s music, treated the audience to a taste of some of Debussey’s most famous compositions including La Mer, Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune and the mystical Clair de lune.

The stunning set designed by Felder, features two famous Parisian bridges flanking the magnificent Steinway piano, setting the mood for the telling of his personal journey into the life of composer Claude Debussey.

 

The show has been extended due to popular demand May 24-June 16

 

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Bram Goldsmith Theater

9390 N. Santa Monica Boulevard

Beverly Hills

310-746-4000

 

www.thewallis.org