Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin is playing at Portland Center Stage from now through December 30.
It has been a while since I've seen a play. So I'm looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with a chilly morning run with a friend and then later in the day, meeting up again to take in "Irving Berlin" at Portland Center Stage
. Starring Hershey Felder, an amazingly talented actor who also plays the piano, composes original pieces, and does some directing and producing. He's well-known for his theatrical productions that have brought to life composers including George Gershwin and Frederick Chopin, as well as his performances in the roles of Beethoven, Bernstein, and Liszt. Currently, he's gracing the stage at PCS as the iconic Irving Berlin, perhaps best known for penning the song "White Christmas."
Irving Berlin, who was born in 1888 and passed away in 1989, lived an amazing life. He lived during the heyday of ragtime, national marches and ballads such as "God Bless America," and big band, influencing countless other artists and, to some, representing "American music" for decades. Berlin was born in Russia and immigrated to the U.S. at age 5 with his family, who was fleeing Russian pogroms targeting ethnic Jews. His father died a short 8 years later, and the family was hard-pressed to make ends meet.
For the run to go along with this “Make a Day of It,” I present to you a tour of some of Portland’s music halls. This route, named the “PCS Irving Berlin route,” starts at PCS, and passes by the Crystal Ballroom on route to the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and the Schnitz. A quick stop at the Keller Auditorim, and then the route crosses over the Hawthorne Bridge and heads south to run by the Portland Opera, before zig-zagging up to SE 9th and running north to Burnside where you can run past the Doug Fir Lounge. From there, you can run back over the Burnside Bridge and past the Roseland Theatre before heading back to PCS. If you do this run before the end of 2016, you can also run by Jimmy Maks, which is unfortunately closing at that time. The total distance on this route is 5.77 miles, and since PCS at the Armory is located at 11th and Everett, you have a ton of choices for your post-run snack.
Learn more about Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at Portland Center Stage and buy tickets here. The show started running on November 30 and the last production will be on December 30. There are showtimes nearly every day including two performances on some, and tickets can be purchased for as low as $25 each!