Felder in Florence Salutes Tchaikovsky

By Steven Libowitz   |   December 24, 2020
Musician and theater impresario Hershey Felder performs a pandemic pivot to point his next streaming production, Hershey Felder, TCHAIKOVSKY (photo credit: Christopher Ash)

Following the imposition of stricter protocols to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the area’s only planned live performance of The Nutcracker, a Concerts in Your Car production from Ventura Ballet, was canceled. Musician and theater impresario Hershey Felder, though, performs a pandemic pivot to point his next streaming production, Hershey Felder, TCHAIKOVSKY, toward the composer’s score for the popular Christmas-eve ballet. Felder, who has seen COVID as cause for avidly amping up his ambitious streaming shows, will portray the composer in his self-created dramatic story of Tchaikovsky’s life and work. Described as “A timebending tale of passion and repression,” the livestream also explores the mysteries surrounding the man and his music, from Tchaikovsky’s beautiful lilting melodies for the ballets Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty,and Swan Lake to the eternally popular and celebratory 1812 Overture and Marche Slav to the composer’s lush piano concertos, the mystery behind his Symphony no. 6, Pathétique, as the musical tribute ponders the inevitable enigma of genius. Hershey Felder, TCHAIKOVSKY is based on well-reviewed Felder’s stage play Our Great Tchaikovsky that broke box office records throughout the nation in its pre-pandemic touring days.

It streams live from Florence, Italy, where the composer spent a good deal of time during his most productive era, at 5 pm on December 20 and will remain available to watch on-demand through the following week. Tickets are $55 per household, with partial proceeds benefitting Rubicon Theatre’s artistic and educational programs if ordered at www.rubicontheatre.org/hershey-felder-series. 

COVID-Compliant ’Cracker

State Street Ballet’s ongoing virtual season, which added an installment of its popular studio show called Evenings to its YouTube channel on Giving Tuesday, December 1, winds the clock back 365 days for a viewing of its performance of the holiday classic The Nutcracker at the Granada Theatre in 2019. Starring the company’s professional dancers, the students of its associated school Gustafson Dance, and the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra, the video version of Tchaikovsky’s iconic music and SSB’s original theatrical dance streams on its website December 19-31. Visit www.statestreetballet.com for details. 

Go Irish for the Holidays

Kerry Irish Productions has presented holiday shows at the Lobero Theatre for the last couple of years, but with COVID-19 canceling all live shows since March, the company is instead celebrating the 2020 holidays with a re-release of their PSB special An Irish Christmas. This holiday treat appropriate for the entire family takes a journey through Christmas in Ireland with an award-winning cast of Riverdance principals and other world champion dancers in a celebration of the great traditions of Christmas in Ireland. Tune in online to draw down the half door for spectacular dance, enjoy superb music-making and the singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night that features songs spinning out of the mists and into the familiar “Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells” with music from members of the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. 

The virtual holiday streaming event is being presented as part of the Live from the Lobero new series of online shows, and will be available as a $15 pay-per-view performance through December 30 at www.lobero.org/events/an-irish-christmas-stream. 


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