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Mix of Music and Theater Yields Stunning Results

Actress Mona Golabek, who performs in a play based on her mother’s life after escaping Vienna, greets Holocaust survivor Eddie Hoffman. Photo by Charles Weinberg

Actress Mona Golabek, who performs in a play based on her mother’s life after escaping Vienna, greets Holocaust survivor Eddie Hoffman. Photo by Charles Weinberg

Immerse yourself in passionate, flawlessly played classical music and absorb a riveting true story of family love during crisis in Laguna Playhouse’s “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” in production only until June. 9.

Coming straight from her heart and executed with fluid professionalism, sole performer Mona Golabek touches on universal truths as she recounts her mother’s story and the heroic sacrifices of a Jewish family caught in the Nazi terrorism that instigated WWII.  Golabek embodies her family’s mantra for four generations of concert pianists: “Hold on to your music. It will be your best friend.”

The one-woman show is produced by a master of mixing classical music with theatrical renditions of iconic characters, Hershey Felder.

“The Pianist” provides a historical narrative as accessible to all age groups as “The Dairy of Anne Frank,” while weaving in excerpts of compositions, culminating with her most beloved Grieg piano concerto, that audibly and soulfully mirror the storyline. Projected historical imagery in larger-than-life picture frames enriches the scene as well.

Golabek has won major awards and played at The Royal Festival Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl.  In 2003 Golabek established the Hold On To Your Music Foundation, which “seeks to expand awareness and understanding of the ethical implications of world events such as the Holocaust, and the power of the arts, especially music, to embolden the human spirit in the face of adversity.”

Find out more about the story and the special performance at the Laguna Playhouse.

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