Acclaimed pianist Mona Golabek brings powerful story to New Orleans after celebrated run at the Kennedy Center! 

Strictly limited engagement opens on May 10, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (April 10, 2019) – Le Petit Theatre proudly announces The Pianist of Willesden Lane, starring internationally acclaimed pianist and storyteller Mona Golabek. Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Golabek and Lee Cohen, the play is set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitz and tells the true story of Golabek’s mother, Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. In this poignant show, Golabek performs some of the world’s most beautiful music live as she relates the real-life legacy of her mother’s quest to survive.

Lauded performer Hershey Felder is the adapter and director of this spellbinding theatrical event. Felder, who has toured internationally in his acclaimed shows including George Gershwin Alone, brings audiences a riveting tale of hope that is a powerful testament to how music helps us survive through our darkest times. The Pianist of Willesden Lane opens on May 10 and runs through May 26, 2019.

An author, recording artist, radio host and internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Golabek is the founder and president of the non-profit organization Hold On To Your Music. A Grammy Award nominee, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the People's Award of the International Chopin Competition. She has been the subject of several PBS television documentaries, including More Than the Music, which won the grand prize in the 1985 Houston Film Festival, and Concerto for Mona, featuring her and conductor Zubin Mehta. She has appeared in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Festival Hall, and with major orchestras and conductors worldwide.

Golabek’s recordings include the best-selling Carnival of the Animals, featuring the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Ted Danson, Lily Tomlin and others;  Ravel’s Mother Goose, featuring Meryl Streep; and the Piano Trios of Arensky and Tchaikovsky, recorded in collaboration with her sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye, and including the Poulenc Double Piano Concerto.

Felder, a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director, has thrilled audiences with his one-man shows, George Gershwin Alone and Monsieur Chopin. His other works include Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Maestro Bernstein; Musik (Franz Liszt); and most recently, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.   

The Pianist of Willesden Lane has enthralled critics since its debut at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. “This elegant heartfelt show is an arresting, deeply affecting triumph,” asserts The Los Angeles Times. “It’s all about Golabek, whose selfless desire to recount her mother’s remarkable tale of survival is enthralling, just as her gifts at the piano are self-evident.”

“An exceptionally heartfelt daughter-to-mother tribute,” hails the Boston Globe. “Felder’s script and Golabek’s performance blend into a portrait of a remarkable young woman whose combination of self-possession, romantic idealism, and dogged resilience kept her afloat when others might well have foundered.” The Chicago Tribune proclaims that The Pianist of Willesden Lane is, “a stirring case of art preserving life….” Writes Broadway World, “This is stunning theater that will leave you emotionally breathless…a theatrical experience not to be missed.”

The Pianist of Willesden Lane’s creative team includes Trevor Hay and Hershey Felder, Set Designers; Jaclyn Maduff, Costume Designer; Christopher Rynne, Lighting Designer; Erik Carstensen, Sound Designer; Andrew Wilder and Greg Sowizdrzal, Projection Designers.

The Production Sponsors for The Pianist of Willesden Lane are The Helis Foundation, The General Fund and the Leonard E. Prelutsky Memorial Fund of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, and the Goldring Family Foundation.   

Regular ticket prices range from $25-$55. Student tickets are always $15. Single tickets are available by calling the box office weekdays from 12 – 5 pm at (504) 522-2081 or online anytime at www.lepetittheatre.com.

The company is continuing their LPT TheatrePLUS outreach during this production with the following events:

  • Behind the Curtain: Sunday, May 12, 2019

Join members from the creative team for a discussion immediately following the show.

  • Bike Night: Thursday, May 23, 2019

FREE valet bike parking with Le Petit Theatre and Bike Easy at 7:00 pm.

  • Student Matinee: Friday, May 10, 2019 10:00 am

If your school is interested in attending a matinee performance, call (504) 522-2081. Additional 10 am matinee dates may become available.

  • Book Club: Sunday, May 19, 2019 1:00 – 2:00 pm

The Children of Willesden Lane, Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen.

Le Petit Theatre is partnering with Octavia Books this year for a book club. Join us for a lively discussion of the book that was the inspiration for the show. Purchase the books at Octavia Books and enjoy a 20% discount. For more information, please visit www.lepetittheatre.com.