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Date: Mar 06, 2012
"Rhapsody in Gershwin"
Presented by The Hofstra Gray Wig, in Association with Hofstra Entertainment
March 23-25, 2012
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Rhapsody in Gershwin, an evening of music featuring a cast of 40 and a live band performing some of George Gershwin’s most popular songs, will be presented March 23-25, 2012, by The Hofstra Gray Wig Alumni Theater Company, in association with Hofstra Entertainment. Show times are 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Hofstra’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse, South Campus.
One of America’s most beloved musicians, George Gershwin wrote more than 860 songs in a life that spanned a mere 38 years. Some of those hits that you can look forward to hearing at Rhapsody in Gershwin include “But Not for Me,” “Summertime,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
Tickets are $28; $25 senior citizen (65+); $20 matriculated non-Hofstra student; $15 with current HofstraCard (one ticket per HofstraCard). For tickets and more information, call the John Cranford Adams Playhouse Box Office at 516-463-6644, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m., or order tickets online at tickets.com (enter “Rhapsody in Gershwin” in the search box). For more information about The Gray Wig call 516-463-6459.
About George Gershwin: Born into a close-knit Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn in 1898, George Gershwin discovered music at the age of 10 when he heard a friend’s violin recital on the lower East Side of Manhattan. He started taking piano lessons and eventually began his musical career at the age of 15 as a song-plugger on Tin Pan Alley. Soon he started writing his own songs, and in the span of four years would write 45 songs, including “Swanee,” “Embraceable You,” and “The Man I Love.” In 1924 he began a collaboration with his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George and Ira Gershwin formed a lifetime partnership that produced such popular musicals as Lady Be Good, Oh Kay! and Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire and his sister Adele.
George Gershwin also was one of the first composers to incorporate the characteristics of jazz into classical music. At only 25 years old, his jazz-inspired “Rhapsody in Blue” debuted at New York’s Aeolian Hall. He followed that up with “Piano Concerto in F,” “Rhapsody No. 2” and “An American in Paris.”
In his early 30s Gershwin began writing Broadway musicals that dealt with social issues of the time. Of Thee I Sing was the first comedy ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, and, in 1935 he presented Porgy and Bess, which is now considered one of the seminal works of American opera. After conquering Broadway, George and Ira decided to take on Hollywood. They teamed up with Fred Astaire, who was paired with Ginger Rogers, for the film Shall We Dance, which includes standards such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” and later the movie A Damsel in Distress, also starring Joan Fontaine.
Gershwin’s popular and more serious music continues to be heard worldwide on stages, in concert halls, and in feature films. As American Songbook host Michael Feinstein put it, “I hear the name Gershwin and I think of the most incredibly talented, prolific, extraordinary composer of the century, and his music is as fresh and vital today as it was when he originally created it.”