Felder, over the phone, is charming and smart; a great conversationalist. In person, he even is more so, which is part of what makes his shows successful.
He shows up either as himself or as some famous composer and with wit and bonhomie makes the audience friends with his subject. All the more so with the singalongs that he conducts at least once during his stays in Mountain View, when 600 people show up to croon tunes from the "Great American Songbook" with him.
The tickets for the Debussy show, opening April 6, are selling "at a pace unlike we've seen before," TheatreWorks Executive Director Phil Santora said.
Debussy composed "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," "La mer," "Nocturnes" and many other works. His music was considered a rebellion against earlier symphonic music. He often was inspired by poetry, and in effect created a new symphonic vocabulary. His life was filled with intellectual disputes and activism, and scandalous romantic entanglements.
The show will have a few orchestral tracks, but the majority will be performed by Felder on piano.
"You'll hear in the show why" he wanted to cover Debussy, Felder said. "I don't want to give that away. It's partly about his unbelievable music and how it affected me as a child. It's a story I felt deserved telling."
"Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story, Featuring the music of Claude Debussy" runs April 6-May 5 at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. Go to theatreworks.org.
Palo Alto JCC displays sculptures by Edo Rosenberg
The sculptures of artist Edo Rosenberg are currently on display at Palo Alto's Oshman Family Jewish Community Center through May. Rosenberg, who grew up both in Israel and the United States, attended art school in Tel Aviv in the 1970s, earned an MFA from California College of the Arts in 1980 and began a teaching career, with forays into construction and publishing. But he never stopped making art, and maintains a studio in San Jose.
"I just love creating and making things," he explained. "I have created in many materials: wood, metal, plastic, concrete and yes, even pantyhose. There is no material that is the only one, I like them all. They all come with their own language and it's my job to make them speak about me."
Rosenberg said some of his sculptural influences include Henry Moore, Richard Serra, Mark de Suvero and David Smith. Reflections of their styles and techniques can be seen in the three large-scale and eight maquettes (small-scale models) that have been installed on the JCC campus.
Rosenberg said there is distinctive feedback that an artist gets by putting work in a public place.
"The larger pieces at the JCC speak for themselves to the people who pass by, but they are interactive with all the small children who are there every day. I have watched them stand and look at them and play on them. I know it has changed the space having the artwork there."
Rosenberg explained that these sculptures are part of a continuum of creativity for him and that he operates from "an inner obsession to make something." Ultimately, he said, "There is a high from putting something together and feeling it works."
"Edo Rosenberg: Retrospective" is installed through May 31 at Oshman Family JCC, Arrillaga Family Pavilion, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Go to paloaltojcc.org/Events/edo-rosenberg-retrospective.
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