THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE CELEBRATES ITS FINAL EXTENSION AT THE GEFFEN BEFORE LAUNCHING NATIONAL TOUR

Mona Golabek's Musical Narrative Adapted and Directed by Hershey Felder To Follow Successful Geffen Run with Multi-City U.S. Tour

Mona Golabek
Mona Golabek
  • Mona Golabek
    Mona Golabek
    Mona Golabek
    Mona Golabek
LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2012 – The world premiere of Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane has been extended for the final time in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse (with performances now running through September 15, 2012) before hitting the road for a national tour.  Adapted and directed by L.A. audience favorite Hershey Felder and featuring award-winning concert pianist Mona Golabek, this music-filled evening recounts the personal story of Ms. Golabek’s mother in Nazi-occupied Europe. The tour will commence immediately after the closing in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater with runs through June 2013 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, Boston (Paramount Theatre), Chicago (Royal George Theatre) and the Laguna Playhouse with further dates and venues to be announced.

“The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse has served as a tremendous launching pad to develop and hone this world premiere,” said Hershey Felder.  “We are looking forward to bringing this intimate, theatrical event to new audiences across the country.”     

Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who is dreaming about her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall.  But with the issuing of new ordinances under Nazi regime, everything for Lisa changes, except for her love of music and the pursuit of her dream.  Featuring some of the world's most beloved piano music played live, The Pianist of Willesden Lane is performer Mona Golabek's true family story, chronicling hope, survival and how through our darkest times, music has the power to help us survive. 

The Geffen Playhouse production marks the world premiere of this play.

HERSHEY FELDER AND THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
PRESENT THE ONE MORE ENTERTAINMENT AND TREVOR HAY PRODUCTION OF
MONA GOLABEK IN THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE
Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder
Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen

Featuring
Mona Golabek

Production Credits
Scenic Design                          David Buess and Trevor Hay
Lighting Design                        Chris Rynne
Sound Design                           Erik Carstensen
Projection Design                     Greg Sowizdrzal and Andrew Wilder
Scenic Construction                 Christian Thorsen
Production Manager                 Trevor Hay
Production Stage Manager     Gary Breitbach

Ticket Info
Ticket prices currently range from $72 - $77.  Tickets are on sale now at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.com.

Performance Schedule
Monday , Tuesday          No performances
Wednesday – Friday     8:00pm
Saturday                          3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday                            2:00pm; 7:00pm

Biographies
MONA GOLABEK (Performer)
American concert pianist Mona Golabek has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center and Royal Festival Hall. A Grammy nominee, she has received numerous awards including the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the People’s Award of the International Chopin Competition and has been the subject of several documentaries including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta.  Ms. Golabek’s syndicated radio program, The Romantic Hours, combines music with poetry. Her recordings include Carnival of the Animals and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite featuring Meryl Streep, both recorded with Ms. Golabek’s sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye. Both daughters were taught by their mother, Lisa Jura, who is the subject of Ms. Golabek’s acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane. Ms. Golabek founded Hold On To Your Music, a foundation devoted to spreading the message of the power of music. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources which, with her book, have been adopted into school curricula across America.

HERSHEY FELDER (Adaptation/Director)
Broadway, London's West End: George Gershwin Alone (Helen Hayes Theatre, Duchess Theatre). Regional and international appearances of “Composers Sonata” (1999-2012) - George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven, As I Knew Him, and Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein - include Old Globe Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, Ford's Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Ravinia Festival, Chicago's Royal George Theatre, The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival,  Uijeongbu Theatre Festival (South Korea) and many others.  Command performance of Monsieur Chopin for the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Polish Embassy, Washington.  Winner of 2007 Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Best Musical and Best Actor for George Gershwin Alone. Compositions include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings, poetry by Vachel Lindsay; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; An American Man for actor and orchestra.   Recordings include Love Songs of the Yiddish Theatre, Back from Broadway, George Gershwin Alone and Monsieur Chopin for the WFMT Radio Network Recordings label; Beethoven, As I Knew Him and An American Man for the Eighty Eight Entertainment label.  Worldwide live broadcasts, George Gershwin Alone, July 2005 and May 2011. Current projects include a new musical, An American Man, recorded with Chicago's Ars Viva Symphony conducted by Alan Heatherington, which had its staged world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in March 2012. Mr. Felder has been a Scholar in Residence at Harvard University's Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada.

ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition.  Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.com.

LISTING EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90024
Box office: 310-208-5454
www.geffenplayhouse.com