Are you in or near Boston? Can you get here by Sunday night? You must.**
"The Pianist of Willesden Lane" is theatre like you've never seen it, music you've never heard played this way, a story that will turn you inside out -- and perhaps give you clues to solving intractable problems of your own (it did for me). And I haven't even mentioned that it's a one-woman performance. One woman. Ninety minutes. A monologue. A concert. The story of one child, one very talented child, who survives the Holocaust because she was told by her mother to "hold on to her music."
Mona Golabek is the performer, the (in real life concert) pianist, author of the book, The Children of Willesden Lane (written with Lee Cohen), and the daughter of that very talented child, Lisa Jura.
As one of the people I went with tonight said, "It's possibly the best play I've ever been to." I agree. And I wouldn't have known about it had I not read this piece in the Boston Globe. A daughter telling a mother's story is power enough but when the story itself speaks to the horror and the glory and the transcendence of humanity all at once, that is art, that is beauty, and that is reason to be alive.
Go. And if you're lucky, you'll witness it in the kind of theatre that we did, merely 100 people, few enough that everyone was virtually in the front row, eye-to-eye with this extraordinary talent. Not to mention the post-performance conversation, tonight with the star speaking with an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor and the local head of the Anti-Defamation League.
Thank you, Mona Golabek, and thank you, Hershey Felder, for your collaboration (he's the director) in bringing Mona's idea to fruition.
**Why do you have to see this by Sunday night? The Boston show at the Paramount closes then, headed next for Chicago, then on to Berkeley apparently, and hopefully one day to New York, London, and the silver screen. I can't imagine that all this won't happen.