Hershey Felder's "Our Great Tchaikovsky"

Critics

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Reviews: 7

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is Russia's most famous composer and one of the greatest composers of all time, known for his beautiful lilting melodies from the ballets Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and the ferocious brilliance of his symphonic works. At the age of 53, Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his enigmatic Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” of which he said, “Let them guess what it means…” Nine days later he was dead. To this day, how and why he died is still a mystery. The extraordinary Hershey Felder returns to The Wallis for the Los Angeles Premiere of his newest work, "Our Great Tchaikovsky", which unveils the life of one of the most beloved and tormented composers of all time.

Reviews

Cynthia Citron

It's another one-man show composed of two men. And “composed” is the operative word here. It's Hershey Felder with another in his series of performances featuring iconic composers, conductors, and musicians. This time the “other man” is “Our Great Tchaikovsky” and Felder, seated at the piano, begins by playing works that Tchaikovsky began creating at the age of six. The telling of the story of Tchaikovsky's life, accompanied by the dramatic and emotional turmoil of his music and its warm familiarity, constitutes another personal triumph for Hershey Felder. His presentation is gripping and the entire evening is spellbinding.

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

The show, running 105 minutes without intermission, is like an episode of Biography mixed with a classical music concert... There are even fireworks during the “1812 Overture”, just like you get yearly at the Hollywood Bowl. Our Great Tchaikovsky is much more intimate and informative.

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

During the multimedia production, directed by Trevor Hay, Felder plays himself as well as the world-famous composer, along with a wide assortment of people from the many phases of Tchaikovsky's life. For each one, Felder completely changes his vocal patterns as well as his physical being, after telling the audience that in order to present his stories about all these real people, he first considers the place, then the character, and lastly the music to set the stage for each segment. And be sure to keep an eye on the picture frame displayed played prominently on the ornate set designed by Felder as it changes portraits as The Many characters are introduced, allowing us to see the real people he is portraying. But you would never know the music was not considered first, given the way his hands fly over the keys as he energetically plays some of the greatest works created by his favorite composer since childhood.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Much is made of Tchaikovsky's thundering welcome abroad. Music lovers may recall that he conducted his music at the opening night concert of Manhattan's new Carnegie Hall on May 5, 1891. A short video about the hall and that opening night can be viewed here. Surely the composer must have known that returning to his oppressive homeland would only deliver ever more assault to his personal sense of self (“identity” we might say today). He was vilified in the press, blackmailed by his legal wife (that's a story in itself), and thwarted in his loves. In the more modern, liberal societies of the West, he would have found far less harassment, much wider appreciation, and a shower of monetary compensation. But the draw of home was overpowering for him: Was there perhaps a compulsive masochistic component to his retreat to the familiar birch woods of his dacha outside Moscow, and to the fear of exposure that had become engrained into his essential character?

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal - Musicals in LA

Our Great Tchaikovsky's run has already been extended a week longer than originally scheduled at The Wallis, due to high demand for tickets. I'm not surprised. The artistic consideration that has gone into the piece, together with Felder's personal storytelling style, makes it an incredibly satisfying and tragically enlightening experience. Those who go to the theatre looking for a great story will find one here. For the classically inclined, Felder's mastery at the piano will remind you why you love the music. And if you're in search of art with a message that matters, this is your ticket.

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Hershey Felder returns to LA and, unlike his previous efforts, this time out has a political and social message that elevates it to an even higher status than all the others. As fame and notoriety grew for Piotr Ilyich during the last half of the 19th century, so did his fearful trepidation that he would be exposed as a homosexual. “Nature is not perfect,” Felder as Tchaikovsky prophetically drops, something he then illustrates, bravely energizing the great man's rule-breaking compositions while showing how his proclivities haunted his troubled and unfulfilled personal life. Under the wise directorial hand of his frequent contributor Trevor Hay, Felder presents Tchaikovsky as a sweet but tortured man unable to live the life which was endemic to him and, with extremely evocative expertise, he clearly elucidates this malady with his onstage artistry, arrestingly playing some of the master's most enduringly beautiful compositions with worldclass results.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

REVIEW: OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY

BY RYAN M. LUÉVANO

People all over the world are familiar with the music of Tchaikovsky from his iconic ballet scores, symphonic works to his works for piano—his music is unmistakable and brilliant. However, what many maybe unfamiliar with the fact that he lived in fear for all of his life up to his death in 1893. Now, actor, writer, pianist, Hershey Felder brings audiences the LA premiere of his latest play, Our Great Tchaikovsky, opening the curtain to reveal the man behind the music. It is through his music and the circumstances in which it was music is written that Hershey Felder eloquently tells the story of this magnificent, yet deeply troubled Russian composer.

sweet - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron

It's another one-man show composed of two men. And “composed” is the operative word here. It's Hershey Felder with another in his series of performances featuring iconic composers, conductors, and musicians. This time the “other man” is “Our Great Tchaikovsky” and Felder, seated at the piano, begins by playing works that Tchaikovsky began creating at the age of six. The telling of the story of Tchaikovsky's life, accompanied by the dramatic and emotional turmoil of his music and its warm familiarity, constitutes another personal triumph for Hershey Felder. His presentation is gripping and the entire evening is spellbinding.

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

The show, running 105 minutes without intermission, is like an episode of Biography mixed with a classical music concert... There are even fireworks during the “1812 Overture”, just like you get yearly at the Hollywood Bowl. Our Great Tchaikovsky is much more intimate and informative.

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

During the multimedia production, directed by Trevor Hay, Felder plays himself as well as the world-famous composer, along with a wide assortment of people from the many phases of Tchaikovsky's life. For each one, Felder completely changes his vocal patterns as well as his physical being, after telling the audience that in order to present his stories about all these real people, he first considers the place, then the character, and lastly the music to set the stage for each segment. And be sure to keep an eye on the picture frame displayed played prominently on the ornate set designed by Felder as it changes portraits as The Many characters are introduced, allowing us to see the real people he is portraying. But you would never know the music was not considered first, given the way his hands fly over the keys as he energetically plays some of the greatest works created by his favorite composer since childhood.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Much is made of Tchaikovsky's thundering welcome abroad. Music lovers may recall that he conducted his music at the opening night concert of Manhattan's new Carnegie Hall on May 5, 1891. A short video about the hall and that opening night can be viewed here. Surely the composer must have known that returning to his oppressive homeland would only deliver ever more assault to his personal sense of self (“identity” we might say today). He was vilified in the press, blackmailed by his legal wife (that's a story in itself), and thwarted in his loves. In the more modern, liberal societies of the West, he would have found far less harassment, much wider appreciation, and a shower of monetary compensation. But the draw of home was overpowering for him: Was there perhaps a compulsive masochistic component to his retreat to the familiar birch woods of his dacha outside Moscow, and to the fear of exposure that had become engrained into his essential character?

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal - Musicals in LA

Our Great Tchaikovsky's run has already been extended a week longer than originally scheduled at The Wallis, due to high demand for tickets. I'm not surprised. The artistic consideration that has gone into the piece, together with Felder's personal storytelling style, makes it an incredibly satisfying and tragically enlightening experience. Those who go to the theatre looking for a great story will find one here. For the classically inclined, Felder's mastery at the piano will remind you why you love the music. And if you're in search of art with a message that matters, this is your ticket.

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Hershey Felder returns to LA and, unlike his previous efforts, this time out has a political and social message that elevates it to an even higher status than all the others. As fame and notoriety grew for Piotr Ilyich during the last half of the 19th century, so did his fearful trepidation that he would be exposed as a homosexual. “Nature is not perfect,” Felder as Tchaikovsky prophetically drops, something he then illustrates, bravely energizing the great man's rule-breaking compositions while showing how his proclivities haunted his troubled and unfulfilled personal life. Under the wise directorial hand of his frequent contributor Trevor Hay, Felder presents Tchaikovsky as a sweet but tortured man unable to live the life which was endemic to him and, with extremely evocative expertise, he clearly elucidates this malady with his onstage artistry, arrestingly playing some of the master's most enduringly beautiful compositions with worldclass results.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

REVIEW: OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY

BY RYAN M. LUÉVANO

People all over the world are familiar with the music of Tchaikovsky from his iconic ballet scores, symphonic works to his works for piano—his music is unmistakable and brilliant. However, what many maybe unfamiliar with the fact that he lived in fear for all of his life up to his death in 1893. Now, actor, writer, pianist, Hershey Felder brings audiences the LA premiere of his latest play, Our Great Tchaikovsky, opening the curtain to reveal the man behind the music. It is through his music and the circumstances in which it was music is written that Hershey Felder eloquently tells the story of this magnificent, yet deeply troubled Russian composer.

sweet - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review