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theatre


by leonard scott HERSHEY FELDER Following up the successful live streams of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin


and Hershey Felder: Beethoven, acclaimed performer Hershey Felder will present his one-man show, Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone – Live from Florence streamed live on Sunday, September 13. Tickets are $55 per household and are available at lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling 949.497.2787. George Gershwin Alone has had over 3,000 performances worldwide, including Broadway, London’s West End, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. As with his previous live-stream performances, this production will benefit national U.S. theatres and arts organizations. “The brilliance that is Hershey Felder transcends stage or screen. To have another opportunity to present this extraordinary artist, as he inhabits the artistry of the legendary George Gershwin is so thrilling for us and a not-to-be-missed highlight of the Fall,” according to a statement issued by Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard. George Gershwin Alone tells the story of America’s great composer, who with the groundbreaking “A Rhapsody in Blue,” made a “Lady out of Jazz.” The show incorporates the composer’s best-known songs from “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” through the hits of An American In Paris and Porgy and Bess, to a complete performance of “Rhapsody in Blue.” As the only actor-musician to create the role of George Gershwin on the stage, Felder will bring Gershwin to life, set on the stage of one of Europe’s oldest and most famous theatres. All told, Gershwin wrote more than 1,000 songs for the stage and screen as well as works for the opera house and the symphony orchestra. In 1937, Gershwin died of an undiagnosed brain tumor at age 38, never knowing how famous and beloved he and his work would become. lagunaplayhouse.com


Turning 16 means new responsibility and new


freedom. The same goes for San Diego’s scrappy, innovative and critically acclaimed MOXIE Theatre, kicking off their “Sweet 16” season with a drama that is just as scrappy and innovative. Not only will they be filming the production for audiences to watch safely at home, but a documentary film will be created to capture the unique process of creating theatre during a pandemic. Running Saturday, September 12 through


Sunday, October 4 is Eleanor Burgess’ The Niceties. Set in an elite East Coast university, The Niceties features an ambitious young Black student and her esteemed white professor who meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly they’re in dangerous territory – and facing stunning implications that can’t be undone. This timely production will be recorded on MOXIE’s stage and streamed with a live component using Zoom. Audiences can tune in and watch the play, meet the artists, and enjoy pre-show and


post-show live content as well as a clip from the documentary about producing theatre during the time of COVID-19. MOXIE’s production team has developed a safety


plan for artists that is, in itself, an entire production. Rehearsals will happen almost exclusively on Zoom. Designers will work in new creative ways on video chats with the actors and director. The care- fully orchestrated process, which even quarantines the props before they are touched by actors, will be filmed by Canis Lupus Productions. The documentary will give audiences an in-depth look at the process as state and local safety guidelines shape the artistic process. MOXIE expects the process for each production to shift with safety regulations throughout the season but is prepared to think creatively to ensure that the show goes on and artists and audiences are safe. “Our mission is more vital than ever,” Executive Artistic Director Jennifer Eve Thorn said. “Women are being called on to do some heavy lifting as we move through this moment. Most of the parenting and care- giving work is carried by women and it’s vital that


their voices don’t take a back seat. MOXIE exists to lift women’s voices and we won’t be derailed in our work now when it means so much. We’ll just have to get more creative.” moxietheatre.com


34 ragemonthly.com | September 2020


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