Hershey Felder's hit one-man show about George Gershwin, George Gershwin Alone -- which has been extended four times in Los Angeles -- is headed to Broadway. A spokesman for the show told Playbill On-Line (Sept. 6) that the production may reach Broadway as soon as spring of 2001.
The show, directed by Joel Zwick, opened last June for a limited run and was soon extended. Three extensions later, the closing date is now Oct. 15, and the entertainment may stay longer than that. Whenever, L.A. loosens its grip on the play, it will embark on a small national tour, eventually leading to Broadway. One of the producers behind the New York move is Martin Markinson, owner of the Helen Hayes Theatre. It is not certain whether Gershwin is intended for that intimate house, currently the home of Dirty Blonde.
Felder is the playwright and performer. After doing five years of research on Gershwin, he got the rights from the late composer's estate to develop a solo show. A workshop was held in March, at which the Gershwin heirs were present and gave the actor the go-ahead to perform. Felder is the first person since George Gershwin's death in 1937 to be allowed to play the composer in a major stage production.
In the show, Felder sits at a piano, playing several Gershwin songs. In between numbers, he talks about his childhood, his parents and his siblings Ira, Arthur and Francis. He also discussed where and when songs were composed and offers a peek into how a composer and lyricist work together.
George Gershwin Alone has been one of the big hits of the summer in L.A. The show has garnered praise from both print and on-line critics. Tiffany Theatre is located at 8532 Sunset Blvd. For tickets and information call (310) 289-2999.