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The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Westport Playhouse - The Pianist of Willesden Lane - Mona Golabek - Hershey felderprod Mona Golabek delivers a poignant portrayal of her mother Lisa Jura's life in war-torn Europe during World War II in the heartfelt play, The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut. As a young Jewish girl growing up in Vienna, Austria, Lisa Jura dreams of becoming a concert pianist. To help keep her safe from invading troops and to possibly help her realize her dream, Lisa's parents send her on a Kindertransport rescue operation train that takes her on a life-changing journey from Vienna, Austria to London, England. Beautifully presented, Ms. Golabek's play is a heartfelt love letter to her mother who survived the war through the healing aspects of music. The Pianist of Willesden Lane is a triumph of the human spirit and Ms. Golabek delivers a truly magnificent performance!  The Pianist of Willesden Lane runs until December 22, 2018 at the Westport Country Playhouse.

 

Westport Country Playhouse - Mona Galebak - The Pianist of Willesden Lane - Hersey Felder Productions
Mona Golabek (Lisa Jura)
The Pianist of Willesden Lane

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, we had the extreme pleasure of attending Mona Golabek's one-woman show, The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Westport Country Playhouse. The play spans the years from 1938 through 1942 and follows the life of Mona's mother, Lisa Jura, as a young Jewish girl growing up in Vienna, Austria taking piano lessons and dreaming of becoming a concert pianist until World War II comes savagely knocking on Vienna's door.  

In a city violently changing with the war breathing down their necks, the parents only secure one ticket and must decide which one of their three daughters to send to London, England on the Kindertransport rescue operationtrain. Imagine the hardship and sorrow that Lisa's parents must have endured having to choose one child over another and to splinter their close-knit family. Ultimately, the parents make the decision to give the ticket to their daughter Lisa, a piano prodigy, in the hopes that at least one member of the family will not only survive the ravishes of war-torn Europe but that she will be able to realizeher dreams of becoming a concert pianist and thus honor her family.  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mona Galebak - The Pianist of Willesden Lane - Hersey Felder Productions
Mona Golabek (Lisa Jura)
The Pianist of Willesden Lane

Traveling as a refugee to London, England at the tender age of fourteen on the Kindertransport, the play not only poignantly tells the story of Lisa's life and the many obstacles she faced in a new country, but also touches the heart as her music effects the other refugee children and their caretakers when London, too is devasted by the war.  

Lovingly and charismatically told, Mona Golabek's portrayal of her mother's life is remarkable. As a Grammy® nominated concert pianist and abrilliant storyteller, Mona Golabek tells her mother's story through music and dialogue that will touch the heart and long be remembered. It is the perfect holiday gift. 

Westport Country Playhouse - Mona Galebak - The Pianist of Willesden Lane - Hersey Felder Productions
Mona Golabek (Lisa Jura)
The Pianist of Willesden Lane

The play is based on Mona Golabek's highly acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane.  

The running time of the play is approximately 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission. It is a family-friendly show appropriate for children 10 and up. 

Until next time, keep supporting the arts!  

Watch the teaser trailer:  https://www.westportplayhouse.org/Pianist 

The Pianist of Willesden Lane Cast:

Mona Golabek

TheCreative Team: 

Hershey Felder

Adapted and Directed

Hershey Felder

Scenic Design

Trevor Hay

Scenic Design

Jaclyn Maduff

Costume Design

Christopher Ryme

Original Lighting Design

Jason Bieber

Lighting Design

Erik Carstensen

Sound Design and Production Manager

Andrew Wilder

Production Design

Gred Sowizdrzal

Production Design

Cynthia Caywood, Ph.D.

Dramaturg

Trevor Hay

Associate Direction

Alec Smith

Stage Manager

The Pianist of Willesden Lane performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 pm, Wednesday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm. "Free-of-charge events surrounding the production include a documentary film screening of "Finding Leah Tickotsky: A Discovery of Heritage in Poland" on Monday, December 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm, and an age-appropriate group discussion with Holocaust survivors, hosted by the ADL and Federation for Jewish Philanthropy on Saturday, December 16, 2019, following the 3:00 pm matinee performance. Both events will take place in the Lucille Lortel White Barn Center."   

For information on the play or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at +1-203-227-4177 or call the toll-free number at 1-888-927-7529 or visit them on the website at www.WestportPlayhouse.org.  

The Westport Country Playhouse Box Office is open during Performance Days Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 8:30 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, and is closed on Monday. Non-Performance Days, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm and is closed on Monday.  

The Westport Country Playhouse named as "Theatre Company of the Year" in December 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, opened in the 1930s in a transformed 1835 cow barn, which has, and continues to attract, a "who's who" of prominent actors. Looking at the framed posters of past shows that line the lobby walls was like entering an encyclopedia of the arts. A few of the many renowned actors who have appeared on the stage there include Ethyl Barrymore, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Don Ameche, Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy, Jane Fonda, Danny Aiello, Blythe Danner, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Lynn Redgrave, Gene Wilder, and Westport residents Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.  

"Westport Country Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater, serves as a cultural nexus for patrons, artists and students and is a treasured resource for the State of Connecticut.  There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build."   

For information on upcoming events and other performances, please visit the website: www.WestportPlayhouse.org.  

Upcoming Performances - 2018  

Plays 2018 Season 

Dates Running

Thousand Pines

October 30 - November 17, 2018

The Pianist of Willesden Lane

December 5 - 22, 2018

Upcoming Performances - 2019  

Plays 2019 Season

Dates Running

In The Heights

April 23 - May 11, 2019

Skeleton Crew

June 4-22, 2019

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

July 16-August 3, 2019

Mlima's Tale

October 1 - 19, 2019

Don Juan

November 5 - 23, 2019

Westport Country Playhouse - Westport, CT, USA

Westport Country Playhouse
25 Powers Court 
Westport, Connecticut 06880
United States 
Box Office:          +1-203-227-4177 
Toll-Free:            +1-888-927-7529 
Fax:                     +1-203-454-3239 
Box Office:          +1-203-227-4177 
Website:             www.WestportPlayhouse.org 
Facebook:           www.Facebook/WestportCountryPlayhouse   

Follow the Westport Country Playhouse on Facebook at www.Facebook/WestportCountryPlayhouse.   

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© December 2018. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com.  All rights reserved.

 
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