Theater Notebook: San Diego Rep’s ‘Before Fiddler’ takes Felder and company on the road to Italian Riviera

On Sunday, San Diego Repertory Theatre will host the world premiere of “Before Fiddler — Live from Florence,” Hershey Felder’s sixth music-filled play streamed live from his home in Florence, Italy, since last May.

Fans accustomed to the playwright/actor’s solo shows expect to see him playing piano as he tells the story of a famous composer. But “Before Fiddler” is a first in many ways. Streaming live at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, is about the famous 19th-century Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem, who was known in his day as the “Jewish Mark Twain.” Several of his semi-autobiographical stories about Tevye the milkman inspired the Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Felder will portray Aleichem, but for this production, most of the music will be performed by Klezmerata Fiorentina, a klezmer quartet of symphony musicians who live in Florence. And for the first time the play will not take

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Opera Star Quinn Kelsey and Ukelele Virtuoso Taimane Come Together for OPERA KANIKAPILA

Opera Star Quinn Kelsey and Ukelele Virtuoso Taimane Come Together for OPERA KANIKAPILA

This year has been a challenging one to say the least; particularly in the arts. Hawaiʻi Opera Theatre, like other performing arts organi-ations, has been facing a changing landscape, not only due to the pandemic (which forced HOT to postpone the 20-21 season) but also in the way people consume entertainment. Fortunately, HOT had already been moving towards a new model; one where they could ‘opera different’ and appeal to a broader base.

One of the aforementioned new concepts is HOT Digital, offering completely original content created in Honolulu, utilizing local talent in a mix of pay-per-view and free offerings. Shared through a virtual concert hall experience online, this unique content can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world.

One of HOT Digital’s offerings is a multi-year project called Hapa Opera, which will explore how opera and local cultures can intersect. One of the many programs under Hapa Opera

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Cal Shakes to host in-person season



a large dog in front of a building: The ensemble of California Shakespeare Theater’s “The Good Person of Szechwan.” Photo: Kevin Berne, California Shakespeare Theater


© Provided by San Francisco Chronicle
The ensemble of California Shakespeare Theater’s “The Good Person of Szechwan.” Photo: Kevin Berne, California Shakespeare Theater

California Shakespeare Theater plans to host an in-person season this summer at its Bruns Amphitheater in the Orinda hills, but with only one show produced by Cal Shakes itself, the company announced Tuesday, Feb. 2. The company is sharing its space with other arts organizations — including Bandaloop, Destiny Arts Center and West Edge Opera — at a time when audiences and arts workers will likely prefer gathering outside.



a large dog in front of a building


© Kevin Berne


Dates for all shows will be announced later.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: California Shakespeare Theater patrons at the Bruns Amphitheater for its Echoes Concert featuring Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Sudan Archives. Photo: Zhanara Baisalova, California Shakespeare Theater 2019


© Provided by San Francisco Chronicle
California Shakespeare Theater patrons at the Bruns Amphitheater for its Echoes Concert featuring Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Sudan Archives. Photo: Zhanara Baisalova, California Shakespeare Theater 2019

Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting said the choice to open

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Boca Raton theater legend Jan McArt dies

BOCA RATON — Jan McArt’s six-decade career took her to venues around the country and the world, singing opera and acting on Broadway stages and in supper clubs, appearing on national television shows such as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”

Eventually, she ended up at Lynn University in Boca Raton, where in 2004 McArt because the first and only director of the theater arts program development.

But in South Florida, McArt may be best known for opening several theater venues, most notably the Royal Palm Dinner Theater in Boca Raton in 1977. That was the same year she moved there from New York. In doing so, she became a trailblazer in bringing locally produced professional theater to a region that saw little of that. The 250-seat venue in the round survived a fire in 1993 before closing in 2001. With good food and excellent

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