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April 09, 2004 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arts ill Life

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from page 39

looking for a way to combine the craft
of acting with the craft of being a con-
cert pianist, and George Gershwin
seemed to be a character that was inter-
esting and totally doable."
As Felder learned about his subject
and became closer with Adam and Amy
Gershwin, he offered to host a reception
celebrating the bris of the couple's son
Noah. Amy's parents, Susan and
Michael Salesin of West Bloomfield,
attended the party and enjoyed the food
cooked by Felder, a kitchen hobbyist
who specializes in many kinds of ethnic
dishes, including matzah balls, Russian-
style stuffed cabbage and apple strudel.
"Because of the way George Gershwin
Alone is structured, the audience can
learn about the impact of one man on
American music," Adam Gershwin says.
"It's an extraordinary show, both
thought-provoking and entertaining.
I'm very excited that Hershey is bring-
ing it to Michigan."
Felder, who developed his interests
in acting and piano performance as a
youngster living in Canada, took pri-
vate music lessons and went on to
study at McGill University. He audi-
tioned and won roles in Montreal's
Yiddish theater and with professional
troupes.
After being cast on Canadian televi-
sion and in film, Felder decided to
look for new opportunities in New
York, where he studied and worked
before moving to Los Angeles in pur-
suit of new concert, theater and film
prospects.
The artist's credits include stage
roles in Gigi, Waiting for GodoA
Macbeth and The King and ] conduct-
ing assignments for Falstaff' Turandot,
Tosca and Manon; and writing and com-
posing projects resulting in Fairytale,
Noah's Ark and Back From Broadway.
Professional engagements have taken
him to many countries, including Israel.
"I'm very Jewish and very proud of
it," says Felder, scheduled to be part of a
benefit for New York City's Folksbiene
Yiddish Theater scheduled June 3 at
Carnegie Hall with Neil Sedaka. "I grew
up in a family of rabbis, and my uncle,
Guedalia Felder, was the head rabbi of
Toronto. My father had a kosher foods
distributorship, Best Kosher Products of
Canada, until he sold it a couple of
years ago.
Felder makes his home in Cambridge,
Mass., as a visiting scholar-in-residence
at Harvard University's Department of
Music. His wife, Kim Campbell, 57,
former prime minister of Can. da, lec-
tures in public policy at Ham. d.

The couple, who teamed up to write
the show Noah's Ark, met when he was
appearing in a tribute performance for
her in Los Angeles. Heis very proud
that she oversaw the deportation of the
first Nazi from Canada when she was
attorney general and justice minister.
We don't view one another as older
or younger," Felder says. "It is a rela-
tionship of equals who share the same
moral value system. Other than my wife
having the most beautiful face in the
world and the sweetest eyes on Earth, I
never imagined that at my age, I could
be this happy and feel as one."
With both spouses having a schedule
that requires considerable travel, their
time apart can be professionally produc-
tive. He currently is working on a one-
man show about Chopin, a musical
about food, a concerto to be premiered
in Canada in the coming season and an
oratorio to debut in Boston.
Felder's visit to Kalamazoo will serve
as a reunion with the Salesins, who have

Hershey Felder: "The audience can learn
about the impact of one man on American
music."

seen George Gershwin Alone and look
forward to seeing it again.
"We first saw the show in Los Angeles
and really enjoyed it," Michael Salesin
says. "Hershey communicates a lot of
understanding about George Gershwin,
and we could tell how much the
California audience really liked it." 1 - 1

George Gershwin Alone will be
performed 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday,
April 23-25, and Wednesday-
Saturday, April 28-May 1, at the
Civic Theatre, 329 S. Park,
Kalamazoo. Matinees performanc-
es are 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday,
April 24-25, and Saturday, May 1.
$35-$40. (800) 347-4266.

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