To Lenny, with Love
To Lenny, with Love: A CELEBRATION OF LEONARD BERNSTEIN
Tucson: Sunday , January 24, 2010 @ 3p.m. – Scottsdale: Friday, January 22, 2010 @ 8p.m.
a brief description
“People often say that Leonard Bernstein was a born teacher, but actually it’s more accurate to say that he was a born student who just couldn’t wait to share what he learned. In his whole life, he never stopped studying.” – Jamie Bernstein (his daughter)
“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” Leonard Bernstein
Burton Bernstein, Lenny’s brother, stated that: Teaching people ñ was his favorite occupation, really. Descended from rabbis, he was a rabbi at heart, a master teacher. Just listening to Lenny was an education. (I know this better than because I was taught by Lenny from just about my first day on this earth.) There was nothing he’d rather do than stimulate new thoughts for, especially, young minds.
For nearly fifty years Leonard Bernstein taught the world what it meant to be an American musician. Leonard Bernstein was the complete musician ñ composer, pianist, conductor, educator ñ and he crammed more work into that ënot quite enough timeí allotted him here on earth.
TO LENNY, WITH LOVE, a world premiere theatrical portrait, is an actorís dream ñ a tour-de-force consisting of half a dozen vignettes of significant persons in his life or person he had influenced greatly; a kaleidoscopic view of this man for all seasons. Written especially for Bob Clendenin, Bob will portray Sam Bernstein (Leonardís father), David Diamond (composer/colleague),
a young conducting aspirant at Juilliard, two critics (one adores Lenny, one does not!), a violist in the Vienna Philharmonic (the orchestra Bernstein claimed to be the greatest), and a couple of cameo surprises.
Coupled with the theatricality will be the compelling music of Bernstein exploring his range of styles from West Side Story to serious art song.
About the music
Most of the music is by Leonard Bernstein, including a montage of tunes arranged for piano, cello, bass and drums by Dave Shephard.
You will some of his classical compositions as well as some of the beloved tunes he wrote with additions of music by friends and mentors.
Here is a link for Lenny’s thoughts on Beethoven from one of the famous Harvard Lectures (click here).
A neat link to recent articles on Leonard Bzernstein.
Bob emigrated to Australia with his parents in the early 70′s but returned to the United States to attend Cornell University where he barely earned a B.Sc. in Engineering in 1986. Knowing the world would be safer if he was not designing bridges, Bob went on to Penn State where he received an MFA in acting. After several years in regional theatre he came to Los Angeles in 1992.
The fish didn’t bite immediately and Bob survived with one job teaching an SAT prep class and another job that involved wearing a hairnet. This went on far too long, but after a long series of demeaning auditions for horrible projects, Bob booked a demeaning role in a horrible project and his career was off and running. Since then he has done over seventy TV guest appearances, a dozen studio films, and numerous commercials. Being a character actor often leads to interesting character names. Bob’s favorites: Slow Roger, Mr. Giggles, Plumber Dave, Louis the Stalker, Doofus, and most recently Bob the Demon.”
Bob is proud of many things. He’s proud of his flourishing vegetable garden, he’s proud of his portrayal of the semi-retarded shop teacher on “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”, and he is most proud to be a co-founder of Circle X Theatre Company. Although they don’t let him act much anymore, he still sits on their Board of Directors and plays 1st Base for their championship softball team.
He lives in Burbank with his wife, two sons, and a pug named “Helmut”.
Joining Bob Clendenin are pianist Sanda Schuldmann, bassist Scott Black and drummer Pete Swan
Directing the production is Troy Hollar.
Troy began his working career as a stage director and producer in New York. In nearly a decade, he directed or produced more than 60 plays and live events. He managed theaters including Workhouse, the award-winning Soho Rep, and Malaparte, where he produced new plays with Artistic Director Ethan Hawke. Troy remains active in the entertainment industry, continuing to produce live events and, as as a partner in H2C Films, film and digital video content. He serves on the board of directors of the Vail Film Festival.
In 2008, Troy founded Rights Forward, an initiative that is using the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a catalyst for global engagement in learning, observing, and enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related treaties and conventions. Rights Forward brings together human rights organizations and concerned and passionate global citizens on a unified web platform to promote basic human rights and freedoms through education and advocacy.
A native Michigander, Troy holds a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan, and remains a devoted fan of Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Detroit Tigers, The Lake Effect, and the Nick Adams stories. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and Tucson, AZ, with his wife, Katherine Pew, a writer and yoga instructor, and their children, Everett and Greta.