What’s The Difference Between A Great One-Person Show and Trying A Case? – The Act Of Communication Point Of View
Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
This week I had the sheer pleasure of experiencing Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at The Geffen Playhouse. My companion that evening was a wonderful director and producer I’ve known for over 30 years. I turned her onto Seth Rudetsky and she turned me onto Hershey Felder whose extensive bio begins but doesn’t end in the cast notes. He has created these amazing musical biographies of such stars as Gershwin, Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt and Bernstein. He has performed his one-person shows over 4,500 times. His Irving Berlin show is almost 2 hours long and he plays it without an intermission – 8 shows a week. I was completely blown away by his brilliance. How he got us to sing along with the numbers. How he got us to understand the story of Berlin’s life through music and anecdote and we were never bored once. Not one time. I mean none of us in the sell-out crowd.
And then I thought…
Why am I so impressed? Isn’t that exactly what every lawyer I know does every time he or she tries a case? A one person show – with costume and lights and scenery and the best “help” in all the world…but…when the lights come up there is the lawyer. And every new trial the lawyer had a new group of people (jurors) who need to be wooed and won and to be charmed into singing along with the tunes.
I’m getting ready to write a one-person show. I’ve been asked to submit one to Green Light Productions. I’ve done two in my lifetime – many decades ago. Full evenings. Just me. The thought of doing one for even a single act I find quite challenging.
So…hats off to each and every one of you who tries cases. Check out Hershey when he comes to a theater near you – which he is bound to – for some inspiration to take you through the rehearsal for that next trial!
TIP: What are you doing that makes them sing along with you?