It’s been said Irving Berlin IS American music. Hershey Felder’s masterful performance captures the character and the music of “America’s Composer” and also the spirit of the American Dream. As we sat on the Main Stage recently, ahead of a performance, Hershey took us deeper into what characterized Berlin’s vision and song in a singular journey that has left us with our most popular and enduring songs, stories, and musicals.





Here’s some background on this tour de force of a show.

Celebrated performer and pianist Hershey Felder brings the remarkable story of beloved composer Irving Berlin to The Armory with his highly acclaimed solo-show, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin. Portland audiences are familiar with Hershey Felder as the adaptor and director of The Pianist of Willesden Lane, which played to sold-out houses at The Armory last season and will return in June for a limited engagement. Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is directed by Trevor Hay, who collaborated with Felder on The Pianist of Willesden Lane, along with a number of other works.


Enjoy our video treat, filmed and produced by Robert Parish. The complete interview is below, as well. Included in our conversation is a look at the shaping of this show, courtesy of director, Trevor Hay, who sat in with us on the Main Stage.



Hershey Felder. Photo: Robert Parish


In our conversation, Hershey Felder says Irving Berlin was able to capture the sounds and feel of a country and influence it. Berlin was able to absorb all the sights and sounds around him and speak it back, in song and story. That would be the “secret sauce” of Irving Berlin. And Felder reveals the surprising story behind the song “White Christmas”!




Creative Team

Check out Hershey Felder’s New Year’s Eve “singalong” concert .