Gershwin Succeeds Betrayal at Duchess, 18 FebDate: 7 January 2004
The one-man homage to American composer and pianist George Gershwin transfers to the West End next month. Written and performed by Hershey Felder, Gershwin Alone opens on 18 February (previews from 6 February) and continues to 17 April 2004 at the Duchess Theatre, where it replaces Peter Hall's revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, which finishes its limited season on 31 January 2004.
Billed as a play with music, Gershwin Alone finds Felder’s Gershwin sitting alone at a piano. Between performing excerpts from classics such as Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess, he recounts stories about Gershwin’s childhood in Russian-Jewish immigrant family, his parents and his siblings, including his long-time collaborator, lyricist Ira.
Together, George and Ira Gershwin produced some of the biggest musical hits of the 1920s and 30s; amongst them, Lady Be Good, Funny Face, Strike Up the Band, Girl Crazy and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing. George Gershwin died prematurely of a brain tumour in 1937, aged 38.
Gershwin Alone, previously titled George Gershwin Alone, was first seen on Broadway in 2001. Since then, Felder has performed it at major venues across the US. In July 2003, he brought the show back to New York, along with a Romantique, new piece about another famous composer, Chopin.
Currently at the Duchess, Hall’s 25th anniversary of Pinter’s study in adultery, Betrayal, stars Aden Gillet, Hugo Speer and Janie Dee, who has been nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Best Actress Award for her performance. (Click here to vote!) It opened in the West End on 8 October 2003 (previews from 1 October), following an initial season at the Theatre Royal Bath and a regional tour.
- by Terri Paddock