Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin NYC Reviews and Tickets

(72 Reviews)
Members say
Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing, Clever, Great singing

About the Show

Hershey Felder ('Maestro') returns to 59E59 for another solo show exploring the life of a legendary composer.

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Member Reviews (72)

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1054 Reviews | 258 Followers
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Resonant

See it if If you like Irving Berlin, I think you will like this one. Good songs done well by Felder. Good direction.

Don't see it if If you don't like songs by Irving Berlin or if you don't like musicals.

977 Reviews | 343 Followers
Dinner theater, Sing-a-long, Overly mannered performance, Flattened emotion, Some great stories/songs

See it if you're comfortable w/hammy, mannered acting. Stories are great (altho their impact is diminished) as are songs (altho HF's voice is meh).

Don't see it if you have high standards. This is cruise ship fare, complete w/sing along. HF annoyed me, even his piano flourishes. Accent is inconsistent. Read more

708 Reviews | 156 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Dated, Indulgent

See it if you're an Irving Berlin fan & want to hear his music & learn about his life (superficially), enjoy Felder's type of show

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Berlin, don't like ragtime, movie music of the 30's & 40's, or music of Broadway in the 30's-50's, or 1 person shows

701 Reviews | 106 Followers
Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Great writing

See it if you are a fan of Irving Berlin or you would like to know more about one of America's greatest composers. One man show very informational.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Irving Berlin or do not like any one person shows. Read more

642 Reviews | 127 Followers
Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if A man with had great talent, so many songs, you know some. If you love music and want to know more.

Don't see it if If you do not like this music, and think it old. Read more

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Slow, Intelligent, Nostalgic

See it if From a Steinway, an American immigrant counts his blessings of wartime patriotism. Encouraged sing-along. Berlin lived to over a century.

Don't see it if Some loss. His singing is soft at times, perhaps to masque inadequacies. Slow. He had over 25 chart toppers, why not more represented?

475 Reviews | 260 Followers
Banal, Formulaic, Sluggish, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy shows about famous American composers and the songs they wrote.

Don't see it if you don't like to hear tunes from the Great American Songbook performed by a man whose vocal delivery leaves a lot to be desired. Read more

503 Reviews | 77 Followers
Entertaining, Brilliant pianist, Great performer, Good retrospective

See it if you love the work of Irving Berlin.This is a very good look at his life and his music.It's a bit heavy handed at times, but Felder shines

Don't see it if you are opposed to schmaltz and feelings.Felder is super talented but it does force you to feel.I didn't like the singalong part. Too trite.

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
September 11th, 2018

"Felder plays no version of Berlin the world might recognize or wish to...Felder’s acting is as broad as a silent-movie villain’s, except that he’s talking. And talking. Or, too often, singing...Felder delivers them all in a weird, unpleasant vocal style that manages the difficult trick of making the songs seem both unvaried and unmelodic...So much is wrong with ‘Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin’ that I eventually started to wonder whether it was actively passive-aggressive.”
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New Yorker
September 8th, 2018

“This lovely one-man show, written and performed by Felder and directed by Trevor Hay, is set on Christmas Eve, 1988, as the centenarian invites carollers into his Beekman Place house, tells the story of his life, and reveals the sources of his songs. Felder is a good monologuist, but, more important, he’s an exquisite singer and a virtuosic pianist, and his love for Berlin’s music fills the theatre.”
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AM New York
September 6th, 2018

"Felder portrays Berlin with a restless intensity, suggesting Berlin’s determination to succeed, fervent patriotism, love for his family and anger at becoming a casualty of the rock and roll revolution. Even though the show is constructed in a by-the-number fashion, and the writing can be heavy-handed and overloaded with exposition, it is truly engrossing and heartfelt. Oddly enough, it also represents the modern jukebox musical at its most simple, persuasive and dramatically effective levels."
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September 6th, 2018

“An occasionally hokey but ultimately loving biographical tribute...While the show has about as much depth as a Wikipedia entry, Felder takes great care in his presentation, his affection for his subject shining in every single moment...The show has no right to work this well, but because of Felder's warm and sensitive portrayal, it does...There are a few points when Felder is a little too much of a showman...Felder proves Berlin is more than just a legend. Thanks to his music, he's immortal."
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September 7th, 2018

“Felder not only creates the character of Berlin but also those of his musical assistants, his...wives...and a number of others...Felder is so adept at this stagecraft that the audience feels as though these other people are actually onstage. Through his riveting acting and superb musicianship, Felder's portrayal of Berlin makes this American musical icon come alive again...Hay delightfully serves Felder's book as Director of this magnificently conceived production.”
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Lighting & Sound America
September 6th, 2018

"It's a canny strategy, presenting a double vision of the man in his heyday, while nevertheless warning us where his story is headed: Berlin led a life that, for all its triumphs, was marked by bizarre and often random ill fortune...Felder has the big picture and it is a lively, crowded canvas, filled with laughter and real feeling...Of the performances by Felder that I've seen, this is surely the strongest; he seems to have bonded more fully with Berlin than his other subjects."
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Talkin' Broadway
September 5th, 2018

“Felder is at his best when he moves away from his baby grand piano and his virtuoso arrangements of the Berlin repertoire, and stands quietly to sing an unaccompanied medley. It is then that you can best appreciate the blend of music and lyrics...Unfortunately, we don't get to know nearly as much about Berlin the man...Beyond the songs and the stories of their creation...snippets of biography and the anecdotes, we are largely left to our own devices to discern what drove him.”
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New York Stage Review
September 5th, 2018

"Although Felder is scarcely an actor, he’s okay as a genial storyteller, and even better as a rather flashy pianist...The production is modest yet capable. Trevor Hay, the director, neatly paces the easygoing flow of the show...Not a high-concept entertainment that aims to garner new admirers of the songwriter’s works or to provide fresh insights...It is instead a sincere and agreeably performed musical celebration of a great American artist and the enduring songs that he wrote."
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