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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

From 72 member  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. More…

'Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin' brings the man behind the iconic music to life in an evening reflecting Berlin's remarkable journey from child immigrant to America's most beloved and prolific songwriter, and featuring the some of the composer's most popular and enduring songs including "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Always," "Blue Skies," "God Bless America," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "White Christmas."

Member Reviews (72)


Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing, Clever, Great singing
Avg Score

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.

Also I really liked HF's Leonard Bernstein, so this was disappointing. Berl... Read more Read less

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.

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

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?

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.

Also This show tells you something about his life. Meeting his wife and per... Read more Read less

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.

Also I have seen other shows about Irving Berlin but they always include mo... Read more Read less

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.

Also Felder's show about Leonard Bernstein was so much superior. This show ... Read more Read less

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.

Great acting, Great singing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you want to witness Felder's terrific performance. He is totally committed and succeeds with the acting, singing, and piano.

Don't see it if you're not interested in a one-man biography show. It was slow and dragged at times.

Entertaining, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy history of musical theater, if you want to learn about Berlin, if you like biographies, if you like one man shows. Nice set.

Don't see it if you don’t like one man shows. Some audience participation singing songs which can be silly. A bit slow at times. No intermission.

Also Felder excellent pianist. Wonderful Q and A after. Felder speaks well,... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Masterful

See it if Classic Hershey Felder at his best. Theater A at 59 E 59 is a perfect intimate venue for his magical performance. A delightful evening.

Don't see it if If you are expecting a full musical production or if you do not like a solo show.

Great musician, Long, Entertaining

See it if you love Irving Berlin. Felder spins tales and plays with great aplomb. This is the perfect role for him.

Don't see it if you aren't a Berlin fan, or you are looking for more drama in your one man shows. It's very much a historical bio.

Heavenly, Absorbing, Emotional (for me), Entertaining, Great writing

See it if you want to know about the man behind so many of the songs all of us know by heart. This is a masterful piece done with thought and style.

Don't see it if you simply don't care about Irving Berlin and the treasury of excellent music that he gave us. If that's so, go anyway and learn!

Also In the interest of full disclosure, I was in the group that went to Be... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great writing, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you have an interest in Berlin's work. Even though I was familiar with his songs, the scope of his outcome is just amazing.

Don't see it if you're put off by sentiment, as Felder does get emotional retelling some of the sadder aspects of Berlin's life.

Must see / very entertaining, Moving story-telling & amazing piano-playing, Biographical / nostalgic / humorous, Beautiful thoughtful enchanting tribute

See it if you're ok w/1-man bio shows & don't mind being coaxed into singing, while hearing/learning interesting background on Berlin's life & music.

Don't see it if you're not into 1-man shows, over-the-top Liberace piano-flourishes, & high-drama vocals mixed w/overdone sotto voce. Too bad. It all works.

Also Saw original production @ The Town Hall 2yrs ago.... Read more Read less

Nostalgic, Sing-along, One-man-show, Educational, Patriotic

See it if You are an Irving Berlin fan. Especially if you love his music but have yet to investigate his personal history.

Don't see it if You are looking for great vocal performances of Berlin's songbook. You are under a certain age and wish to get all the references.

Also "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on." -Irving Berlin... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Must see

See it if You want to learn about the life of Irving Berlin and hear songs. Great acting. Loved the format of it. Must see

Don't see it if You do not like biographical pieces.

Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if if you love Irving Berlin's songs with patter between songs; if you enjoy singing along at various times; if you enjoy being entertained

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows; if you expect Hershey Felder to look like Irving Berlin

Great singing, Fluffy, Refreshing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy Berlin's music and are interested in learning a little more about his life. Felder is charming and the show is an enjoyable event.

Don't see it if you need fast-paced or profound theatre. This is just a stroll through Berlin's life and music. Nothing more. It is old-fashioned, but fun.

Indulgent, Overrated, Slow, Disappointing, Uneven execution

See it if you feel, as I do, that an evening spent with Irving Berlin's music is never wasted, and you can enjoy an overview of his life and career.

Don't see it if you can't overlook over-the-top acting, some ugly loud singing, and stylistically inappropriate florid piano accompaniments.

Also The best parts of the evening are the places where he encourages the a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great singing, Resonant, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if If you want to see an American success story and hear marvelous music beautifully performed, you will love this.

Don't see it if You don't like an inspiring story and a small intimate musical with superb showtunes.

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You are a fan of Irving Berlin and want to hear his [interesting] life story told through his music by a talented artist.

Don't see it if You don't like one-man shows. You have never heard of Irving Berlin/ you don't like Irving Berlin's music.

Delightful, Interesting, Masterful

See it if you want to learn about Irving Berlin and/or is you enjoy his music...

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows...

Refreshing, Great singing, Great acting, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if informative, delightful one man show. If you like music, are interested in the ubiquitous Irving Berlin's songs & his backstory.

Don't see it if You don't like one man shows--have no interest in Irving Berlin or his music. Prefer intense thought provoking theater.

Also Saw in previews.Disregard the scathing overly analytical NYT review wh... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great writing, Must see

See it if WONDERFUL in every respect: great music, a heartfelt story of success in show business, and a love story. Although Berlin was exceptional

Don't see it if you do not like Irving Berlin's music

Also in its talent, his love for his adopted country, it is not unique it i... Read more Read less

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...
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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 impor...
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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-h...
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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 Feld...
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