SAN DIEGO – April 2, 2015 – San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) hosts the 22nd annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival from May 21 to July 26, 2015. Along with a full slate of performances at San Diego and North County venues, the festival is rich in culture, talent and Jewish soul. Headlining the festival is a special one night only performance of Hershey Felder’s “Great American Song Book Singalong.” This year’s festival also enjoys an extended schedule, capping off with a three-week production of Mona Golabek in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” The Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival is curated, organized and directed by Todd Salovey, associate artistic director, San Diego REP.
“We are so honored to have Hershey Felder open the Festival with one of his most extraordinary pieces. When we raise our voices along with Hershey to celebrate these great American composers it will be thrilling,” says Salovey. “This year’s Festival promises to be our most exciting ever. We expect to play to literally thousands more than we ever have. For 22 years, the Festival has celebrated acclaimed Jewish artists who explore Jewish history, ideas, and tradition in joyous art. We love that patrons from all communities enjoy our work. The caliber of performers keeps getting stronger and stronger – and this year is certainly our most amazing and diverse lineup,” he continues.
Festival performances are staged at various venues throughout San Diego County including San Diego REPertory Theatre, the historic Balboa Theatre, Encinitas Library and the AVO Playhouse. The North County area events feature five different performances, including the Klezmer Summit North County starring the Divas of Klezmer and the MiraCosta College Jazz Collective, as well as three free of charge events at the Encinitas Library. Additional highlights include the 14th annual Klezmer Summit featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine joined by Yale Strom, Hot Pstromi and the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir and acclaimed pianist Mona Golabek returning in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” The hit theatrical show is based on the book “The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kinderstransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survivial,” adapted and directed by Hershey Felder.
The schedule for the 22nd annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival includes:
Hershey Felder’s “Great American Song Book Singalong”
Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre
ONE NIGHT ONLY! Known for his musical character creations from Gershwin to Chopin and Beethoven to Bernstein, Hershey Felder will perform at the historic Balboa Theatre for one night only, with his signature style in an event where the audience gets to take part.
Felder notes: “From the very first performance of ‘George Gershwin Alone’ more than seventeen years ago, it was clear that the moment a few familiar notes were played, the audience was intent on singing along. While the ‘Great American Song Book Singalong’ is chock full of contributions from creative artists with varied backgrounds, many of those early contributions have come from Jewish artists where there is a deep history of storytelling in song. From Berlin to Bernstein, Gershwin to Sondheim, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen (“The Wizard of Oz”), Bock and Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”), and Marvin Hamlisch (“A Chorus Line”) – this evening is not only about singing along to great American classics, but understanding how they came to be and how the Jewish experience influenced their creation.”
Tickets are $40 to $80 for general admission and $118 for VIP seating that includes a pre-show dessert reception with Hershey Felder. To purchase tickets, please call (619) 570-1100.
“A Wandering Feast”
Starring 2nd Avenue Klezmer Ensemble followed by reading of selections of a new play with music by Todd Salovey and Yale Strom
Sunday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyceum Space at San Diego REP
A wonderfully entertaining band with an enthralling singer, 2nd Avenue Klezmer features an all-star cast of musicians. The popular quintet features the theatrical Yiddish vocals of favorite Deborah Davis, along with virtuoso clarinetist Robert Zelickman, guitarist Jiri Svoboda, drummer Bob Weller and contrabass legend Bertram Turetzky.
With riveting personal anecdotes, history, and live music “A Wandering Feast” tells world-renowned artist Yale Strom’s year long journey of self and musical discovery behind the Iron Curtain in 1981. Strom turned down law school and bought a one-way ticket to the East Bloc to find old klezmer music, first in cellars and archives. That search took him to Holocaust survivors, both Jewish and Roma, who remembered klezmer melodies that had never been published or recorded. No other American revivalist had tapped this rich resource of music, culture and life throughout the East Bloc. Strom began to understand the people who created the culture. He not only found music, he found the soundtrack of his own Yiddish heritage.
Tickets are $15 each. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sdrep.org or call (619) 544-1000.
Adam del Monte
Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Oceanside Museum of Art
A virtuoso guitarist whose work finds the Sephardic soul of flamenco music, Adam del Monte has studied classical and flamenco guitar in Israel, Spain, and England. Soulful and passionate, his original and classical repertoire has been featured in recordings and performances around the world. A leading flamenco and classical guitarist/composer, del Monte has embarked on a journey creating a unique sound and language of flamenco that is both steeped in tradition yet open to musical flavors from around the world.
Tickets are $18. Ticket price includes a beer and wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. before the concert starts. To purchase tickets, please visit oma-online.org or call (760) 435-3720
“Gridlock” performed by Teatro Punto y Coma
By Salomon Maya
Directed by Pepe Stepensky
Saturday, June 6 at 8:45 p.m. in the Lyceum Space at San Diego REP
Presented by Teatro Punto y Coma, “Gridlock” is a dramatic story filled with comedic surprises. A young husband, Jonah is rushing home to his wife when he hits an unexpected traffic jam. But when he meets three strangers stuck on the same freeway their lives will forever be changed as they get to know each other’s intimate secrets, and explore their own lives realizing that nothing moves forward once you’re stuck in…gridlock.
This performance of “Gridlock” is the world premiere reading of their upcoming production, “Gridlock” by Salomon Maya. A full production is planned for 2016. The audience is invited to stay for an after show discussion sponsored by “L’CHAIM Magazine” and become a part of the theatre experience as the playwright, cast and director take your questions and comments. The cast includes: Yigal Adato as Jonah, Salomon Maya as Rigo, Zeji Ozeri as Frank, Lizette Galicot as Juliet, Aida Masliah as Angelica, and Stephanie Frid as Blackbird
Tickets are $15 each. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sdrep.org or call (619) 544-1000.
5th Annual Klezmer Summit North County
Starring The Divas of Klezmer plus MiraCosta College Jazz Collective playing works by Yale Strom with special guests Rachel Barton Pine and Yale Strom
Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m. at the AVO Playhouse.
The Festival’s 5th annual North County Jewish musical celebration features three popular klezmer divas who sing Jewish and Yiddish songs from the stage, streets and shul. The Divas of Klezmer will grace the audience with their soulful and passionate vocals. Elizabeth Schwartz will be joined by very special guests Kathy Robbins and Deborah Davis. And when they sing together – their joyous harmonies will remind you of the Andrews Sisters. The Divas of Klezmer are accompanied by Fred Benedetti, Jeff Pekarek and Yale Strom.
This overflow of riches also includes the powerhouse jazz ensemble, the MiraCosta College Jazz Collective under the direction of Steven Torok. Exploring the luscious boundaries of jazz and klezmer, they will perform brand new jazz new arrangements of original compositions and klezmer classics by Yale Strom. Sharing the stage will be classical violin star, Rachel Barton Pine.
Tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, please visit www.moonlightstage.com or call (760) 724-2110.
14th Annual Klezmer Summit: “L’Dor V’Dor” (“From Generation to Generation”)
Starring Rachel Barton Pine with Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi, plus the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir
Monday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego REP
This year’s popular celebration of Jewish music features one of the most acclaimed classical violinists of her generation, Rachel Barton Pine. Pine, whose incredible range of work spans classical to klezmer to heavy metal, holds prizes from several of the world’s leading competitions, including a gold medal at the 1992 J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany. Other top awards came from the Queen Elisabeth (Brussels, 1993), Kreisler (Vienna, 1992), Szigeti (Budapest, 1992) and Montreal (1991) International Violin Competitions, and many national and regional competitions. She won prizes for her interpretation of the Paganini Caprices at both the Szigeti Competition and the 1993 Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa. Today, she performs as a lead soloist with symphonies around the globe.
The performance, “L’Dor V’Dor,” will feature Jewish classical music of the 19th to 21st centuries. Although the Jewish musical tradition is among the oldest in Europe, there remained a dearth of Jewish influence on European classical music. This dramatically changed in the 19th century, when many Jewish composers and performers began to cross over to the classical music world — transforming it forever. The late 19th century through the eve of WWII is peppered with the names of great Jewish classical violinists ranging from Bronislaw Huberman to Efrem Zimbalist.
Virtuoso violinist Rachel Barton Pine will present a program of Jewish classical music ranging from Bloch’s “Baal Shem Suite” to Achron’s “Hebrew Melody.” She will also perform Yale Strom’s “Bessarabia” suite for solo violin.
The program will also feature illustrious Festival favorites Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi in presenting klezmer music with scintillating improvisation and virtuosic technique.
Opening the program will be the talented singers of the San Diego Jewish Men’s choir under the direction of Ruth Weber who will be performing selections from their upcoming newest CD.
The evening will include a special pre-show Surround Event at 6:30 p.m. featuring Rachel Barton Pine and Yale Strom speaking about her courageous story and the different ways she takes classical to other musical forms. Tickets are $18. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sdrep.org or call (619) 544-1000.
Women of Valor
By Todd Salovey, Leah Salovey, Ali Viterbi, Rebecca Myers, and Sarah Price Keating
Directed by Todd Salovey
Thursday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyceum Space at San Diego REP
Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Encinitas Library
A completely new version of the Festival’s yearly celebration of the lives and inspiration good works for five of San Diego’s most incredible Jewish women. With music, visuals, and a world premiere script, “Women of Valor” is a staged reading that will touch the heart with laughter, drama, and inspiration. This year’s women include: Helene Bortz, Pam Ferris, Helene Schlafman, Fern Siegel, Gussie Zaks, and San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
Tickets for the performance at San Diego REP are $18 each. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sdrep.org or call (619) 544-1000. Proceeds benefit Chesed Home, San Diego Gift Closet, Torah High School and Project Sarah. Tickets for the reading at the Encinitas Library are free but a donation is suggested. For more information visit www.encinitaslibfriends.org or call (760) 753-7376
Sunday, June 21, 2:00 p.m. at the Encinitas Library
Zeji Ozeri, one of San Diego’s most important and well-loved Jewish educators, has more than 20 years of experience teaching music and sharing his knowledge about Jewish tradition with children and young adults of the Jewish community in California, Mexico and Israel. Zeji has produced two CDs of Jewish songs and continues to perform in concerts throughout Southern California. The concert is co-sponsored by Tarbuton and San Diego Soille Hebrew Day School.
Admission to Ozeri’s show at the Encinitas Library is free. Following the concert there will be activities with music for children and families. For more information visit www.encinitaslibfriends.org or call (760) 753-7376
Mona Golabek in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane”
Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder
Based on the book by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
July 8-26, 2015 on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego REP
A San Diego favorite returns! Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. In this poignant show, virtuoso Mona Golabek returns to the Lyceum Stage and performs some of the world’s most beautiful piano music as she shares her mother’s riveting story of survival. Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is infused with hope and invokes the life-affirming power of music. For her awe-inspiring performance, Golabek was the recipient of the Outstanding Solo Performance award from The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.
“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is July 8-26 on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego REP. Tickets are $36 to $95. For available show times and tickets, visit http://www.sdrep.org or call (619) 544-1000.
In addition to the Lyceum Stage performances, Golabek will perform a special presentation at the Encinitas Library on July 6 at 6:45 p.m. This intimate introduction and sampler of the story and music from her award-winning performance is free. For more information about this one night only presentation, visit www.encinitaslibfriends.org or call (760) 753-7376.
About the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Festival
The Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Festival has been presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre for 22 years. The festival is a celebration of artistic expressions of Jewish history, traditions and ideas. The festival has brought together artists from 13 different countries, produced numerous world premieres, and presented work in seven languages.
About San Diego REPertory Theatre
San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. We promote a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. Founded in 1976, San Diego REPertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values. The company produces and hosts over 300 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. In 38 seasons, we have produced 48 world premieres. We have produced 46 main stage shows by Latino/a playwrights and more than 22 plays written by or about African-American artists. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue, and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented the REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego REPertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego REPertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.