BEETHOVEN at the Wallis Annenberg Center

Photo by Christopher Ash

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Actor/writer/musician/producer/designer/musicologist Hershey Felder is about as close as they come to a modern Renaissance man. He has racked up an impressive array of musical biographies — one-man shows in which he plays noted composers.

But this time there’s a difference. As narrator, Felder portrays not Beethoven but his friend and admirer, Gerhard von Bruening — though Felder does sometimes speak in Beethoven’s voice. (In the question-and-answer that follows the performance, Felder was asked, “Why the change?” He replied that Beethoven’s deafness had so embittered him — and made him so cantankerous and irascible — that having him narrate his own tale would have produced a piece in which he constantly railed at his audience. (Using a different narrator enabled a more nuanced portrait.) Read more…

Now running through August 12