MAESTRO. Leonard Bernstein. A Play with Music – A Mini Review

maestroart_webMAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein is the most surprising theatrical event I have experienced in a long time. I’ve seem Emily Dickenson, Clarence Darrow, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt and others take the stage as one person shows and have found them entertaining.
But Hershey Felder, the author and actor and musical director of this extraordinary theatrical event, has moved the genre to a new height.
The play shows Bernstein’s conflicts and joys with both his biological father and musical fathers, the people he loved and hurt in his life, his professional triumphs and despairs, all the while searching for the God of his fathers.
The raw material is that of tragedy, and the genius of Mr. Felder is that he has crafted a mesmerizing plot, channeled the alternately haunted and inspired soul of Bernstein into a bravura performance, and accompanied himself on the piano throughout with the greatest of panache and finesse. Joel Zwick’s direction, Erik Carstensen’s sound design, and Francois-Pierre Couture’s visuals, enhancing Mr. Felder’s performance, brought the audience to its feet cheering and weeping.
If you are anywhere near Cleveland, and have any sort of interest in musical theater, or classical music, or great theater, you owe it to yourself to get over to the Allen Theater asap because the number of remaining performances is few. For the rest of the world, don’t let MAESTRO pass if it comes near you.

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