Home » Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin - photo by Hershey Felder Presents
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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut is the perfect summer date night! Composer Irving Berlin (1888 – 1989) created some of the most memorable music for plays, movies, the military, the radio, and for everyday life. His music touched, and continues to touch so many lives, and lives on as part of the Great American Songbook. Actor, playwright, pianist Hershey Felder is spellbinding in his one-man show, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin with his touching adaptation of Irving Berlin’s life. Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin runs until August 3, 2019 at the Westport Country Playhouse. Do not miss this wonderful experience!


Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder (Irving Berlin)

We had the pleasure of seeing the play, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at the Westport Country Playhouse on Tuesday, July30, 2019, which was a perfect, warm summer evening. Hershey Felder deftly and creatively tells the tale through music and interesting stories about the life of Irving Berlin, American music icon, historic treasure, and the genius composer behind so many songs in the Great American Songbook.

Born in 1888 in Imperial Russian, Israel Belin moved to the Lower East Side of New York City in 1893 with his family at the age of 5. From humble beginnings, he made his mark in America and in the musical world changing his name to Irving Berlin. A few of Irving Berlin’s many well-known compositions include the patriotic God Bless America (sung by Kate Smith), Oh How I Hate to Get Up In the Morning, Cheek to Cheek written in 1935 for the film, Top Hat starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Puttin’ On the Ritz published in 1929 and appearing in so many movies including the 1974 Mel Brooks film Young Frankenstein, Isn’t This A Lovely Day (Tony Bennett), Alexander’s Ragtime Band made famous in Vaudeville, Let’s Face The Music and Dance (Mel Torme), White Christmas featured in the 1954 film by the same name starring Bing Crosby, and Blue Skies, which Bing Crosby sung in the 1946 movie by the same name, and so many more that are long remembered from their presence in films and can still be heard today as new artists cover Irving Berlin’s music.

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin - photo by Hershey Felder Presents
Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder (Irving Berlin)

Tragedy struck many times in Irving Berlin’s life, beginning with his father’s death at age 13, just before he was to make his Bar Mitzvah. Dropping out of school after the sixth grade, he left his family home and went to work doing whatever he could so as not to be a burden of being an extra mouth to feed for his family. He lived on the stoops of New York City, and ultimately found a job as a singing waiter in Chinatown. With the publication of his first song, Marie From Sunny Italy in 1907, he found that he had talent and the ability to make money writing songs. He married his sweetheart when tragedy struck again 5 months later when his young wife died of typhoid fever. Such was to be the rest of his life, tragedy and sorrow mixed with great love and success. His one constant was the love of his beautiful second wife Ellin Mackay, a socialite and heiress, who defied her father to marry Irving.

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin - photo by Hershey Felder Presents
Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder (Irving Berlin)

Over the course of many decades, he produced a prodigious amount of songs, of which 232 songs reached the "top 10" list, and 25 of them reached "number 1." He adapted to the different musical genres of the eras, and continued to write well into his 70s, however once Rock and Roll became popular, his career was over.

Hershey Felder created a memorable tribute to Irving Berlin in his one-man musical play based on Irving’s life, and ignited the stage with his musicianship as he "nails" the creative spirit of the legendary Mr. Berlin. Hershey Felder engaged the audience throughout the play with the sold-out show singing along on many of Irving Berlin’s legendary songs. If you love the music of Irving Berlin, this play is a "must see." Bravo!

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin - photo by Hershey Felder Presents
Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder (Irving Berlin)

The play runs 105 minutes without an intermission.

Watch a teaser of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin: https://youtu.be/c4HmaIOp9IE

Until next time, keep enjoying and supporting the arts!

The Creative Team:

Irving Berlin

Music and Lyrics

Hershey Felder

Irving Berlin/Playwright

Trevor Hay


Joel Zwick

Consulting Producer

Richard Norwood

Lighting Design

Christopher Ash

Projection Co-Design

Lawrence Siefert

Projection Co-Design

Erik Carstensen

Sound Designer/Production Manager

Stacey Nezda

Costumer & Scenic Artist

Meghan Maiya

Historical & Biographical Research

Eva Price


Karen Racanelli

Executive Producer

Samantha F. Voxakis

Producer/Company Manager

Hershey Felder Presents


Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin 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.Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass.

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 acultural 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 – 2019

Plays 2019 Season

Dates Running

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

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