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What did you think of Abe Lincoln’s Piano?

Thank you for joining us for Abe Lincoln’s Piano! Please take a moment to share your thoughts on the production.


Dr. Leale - Chair



Did the stories about President Lincoln surprise you?

Have you seen Hershey Felder perform before? What is standing out from this performance?

Was the music familiar to you?


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  1. The music from the speaker at the back of the theatre (house left), drowned out the speech from the stage for much of the play. The music seemed a crutch anyway, so it was doubly frustrating. We were unable to enjoy the play.

  2. Mary TurveyMay 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I have seen Hershey Felder in all his productions except Beethoven, which has not been performed in Boston to my knowledge.
    I was expecting more music and was disappointed that there was less music played. The stories about Lincoln were a surprise to me.
    Although I sat in the orchestra, at times I had to strain to hear Hershey Felder and wondered if the people in the balcony could hear him.
    I much prefer his productions of Chopin and Gershwin and love to hear him play the piano. Most to fhe music in Lincoln was familiar to me.
    Lincoln is my least favorite work of Hershey Felder.
    Would love his Beethoven to be performed in Boston.

  3. Paula RosenstockMay 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    My mom and I are Hershey Felder groupies! We loved this and we loved his performances last year. I hope you bring back Chopin and Beethoven as we did not know we were groupies at that time!

    It is amazing to me that one man can mesmerize an audience for 90 minutes. We did not want the show to stop! Now we are inspired to read more history of the time. Thank you Hershey Felder!

  4. Cynthia GellerMay 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hershey Felder is a consumate entertainer. I’ve aseen all of the shows he’s done in the Boston area, some more than once. He is an accomplished actor and musician, as well as an engaging story teller. ABE LINCOLN’S PIANO is a fascinating history lesson, which includes many little-known facts about the President and his contemporaries. A MUST SEE!

  5. This was a fabulous show. It was very informative as well as entertaining. It showed off Hershey Felder’s talents which go well beyond his piano playing. Spell-binding!!! Should not be missed!

  6. new memberMay 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I found the performance uninspiring. I could not feel the energy of the actor – performer and was not brought along into his story of Lincoln and the piano. He is clearly a talented guy and the music was interesting and entertaining but there was a kind of monochromatic character to the performance with very few highs and lows and I drifted off during the performance.

  7. Suzanne SalamonMay 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    We have loved Hershey Felder’s previous plays. The Lincoln play was a bit more uneven. It was hard to follow in the beginning: the part about the mystic and the piano raising up went on too long and didn’t seem to be a prelude to anything. The part of the Lincoln shooting was very moving..
    I would like a bit more music and more of an exploration of the inner workings of his subjects, like others he has done with previous artists. He has a keen knack for exploring all sides of musicians, and unless he is getting bored with that, he is a genious at it and should continue to educate and thrill is audiences.

  8. Maureen DavisonMay 24, 2014 at 7:51 am

    This was the 3rd. performance we have seen by Hershey Felder . We continue to be impressed by his
    performance as a pianist and an actor . This show was amazing . I’m hoping that all my friends get to see him in Abe Lincoln’s Piano .
    And yes , we did learn some interesting facts about Lincoln and the Doctor who tried to save his life .
    We loved the show .
    Thanks .

  9. Bob WeinerMay 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

    We’ve seen several (Gershwin, Chopin, Beethoven, Bernstein) of Hershey Felder’s previous performances and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. This one, however was less inspiring or entertaining than previously. Whether it was the relative lack of music in this performance or the fact that this was the first non-composer subject is unclear. Mr. Felder is a highly talented entertainer and this performance was a bit too pedantic for my taste.

  10. Beth CohenMay 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I really enjoyed this play. I have not seen the actor before but he is very talented and I look forward to seeing more of his plays in the future.

  11. Nearly fell asleep in the beginning. I was seated in 3rd row center and could hear and see fine. Hershey should have wore his hair as pictured……more suitable to the period…I, too, would have liked more piano music. The second half of the performance picked up and ended well.

  12. Linda NevinsMay 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy the performance. I have seen Hershey Felder as both Gershwin and Chopin and both were marvelous experiences for me. Unfortunately, although his performance itself was, as always, excellent (HF is a remarkably talented person), I thought the “book”, the concept, the endless talking, the use of Dr. Leale,, the other voices, etc. to be rather forced and pointless and often boring, rather than entertaining. I am familiar with Stephen Foster’s music, as most Americans are, but it can hardly carry an entire show. I understand that HF wanted to try something new, perhaps “innovative” — but this was not it. There are many, many choices for new projects for a man of his abilities. Perhaps he will bring his Beethoven to Boston.

  13. Bonnie GreenbergMay 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t praise Hershey Felder’s talents high enough. I’ve seen three of his shows and my favorites are Bernstein and Gershwin….I did not get to see Beethoven or Chopin. I think his voice and skill on the piano is tremendous and I wasn’t surprised to see that he directed the Children of W as that show reminded me of his shows that I’d seen. In this performance, Lincoln’s Piano, the first part of the program needed to be a bit tighter. I understood the frame of the whole show which was cleverly conceived, but in some spots, I lost track of the speaker and in the dark theater, sometimes the volume wasn’t loud enough and I found myself blinking/about to doze sometimes. As things progressed to about a third of the way in, the action gripped me and I enjoyed the last 2/3rds much more. The finale was mesmerizing, thrilling, and a spontaneous standing O was in order. Just tighten up the first part and it is a winner! Thank you for the privilege of seeing this performance…Hershey really gives it his all.

  14. I found the show disappointing and not up to Mr. Felder’s usual exciting performances. He is such a wonderful pianist and storyteller but this did not showcase those talents as it did in “Gershwin” or “Bernstein”.

  15. George ChimentoMay 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This is a wonderful show. Felder is an accomplished pianist with a good voice, but you should not attend this just for the music. It is 70 minutes of history. Whether speaking in the voice of a medium invited to the Lincoln White House, or the 23 year old surgeon who attended Lincoln in his last hours, Felder is a storyteller in the best sense. He invites the audience to the 19th century, its conflicts, and the conflicts of today. As always, we left this performance with a grateful feeling that Arts Emerson has enriched our lives.

  16. Bette GosuleMay 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Anything Hershey Felder does is wonderful. This production provided extra glimpses of Lincoln’s life and death that may not be known by all. Truly enjoyable performance. Can’t wait for Mr. Felder’s next endeavour.

  17. My wife and I really enjoyed this production. We have both read the new Lincoln biography (I’m still reading). The performance was a great mix of history, music and drama. Mr. Felder is a very talented actor/musician. Thanks for a great afternoon!

  18. Dennis SelkoeMay 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I thought the play was wonderful. As an American history major in college, I am quite familiar with Lincoln, having read a few biographies, and yet some of the stories surprised me. I loved how Felder wrote and acted these stories about Lincoln, a great way to learn history. The miusic was cool and mostly unfamiliar to me. Felder was superb. As a physician , I related to the young doctor’s emotional recounting of the assassination.

  19. Charlie BMay 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

    My main emotion was boredom. The earlier portion seemed to ramble on forever, and then the assassination scenes were maudlin and repetitious rather than genuinely moving. I haven’t seen Mr. Felder before, and based on reactions to his earlier work I’ll have to assume this performance is a rare misstep.

  20. Dennis PickerMay 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Hershey Felder is a gifted performer and it is always a treat to see one of his shows. Like many others, I have seen every one of his shows that have come to Boston, and wish that he would bring his Beethoven show to our town. The stories revealed during this show were surprising to me, and I was impressed with the research that Hershey did before he was able to write this play. To think that it all stemmed from a chance encounter after one of his performances 5 years ago in Chicago. I marvel at his ability to slip seemlessly and quickly from one character to another, and to act and look out at the audience while playing difficult passages on the piano. Yes, this show was quite different from his other ones, as he played piano less of the time. But, I enjoyed the show quite a bit, and will always buy a ticket for anything that Hershey brings to Boston.

  21. Shelley NewmanJune 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I went to the SAT night performance. The set was lovely and worked well with the ideas as they were presented, though I did not quite get the painting of G. Washington hanging over the top of the arch… OK, as to the production itself, it is a powerful idea but, needs tweeking. The whole bit with the two ladies in the White House, early in the production, needs to be re done..it was confusing and quite frankly I couldn’t understand a lot of the words to the unfamiliar songs being played… as the words to the song seemed to be important to the “elephant” in the room (that would be Mr. Lincoln himself) I think this part of the production needs help, more defined look — as each lady talks, perhaps a prop (hat or scarf) could be donned so we can keep the ladies apart in our minds. The part on the DR. was compelling. The Steven Foster bit was a nice side piece – – reminding people about his life and early death and his importance to that portion of history. The bit about the Museum and the old man was wonderful. In general, this show didn’t quite work. But, I can say that the doctor is an interesting character on his own…

  22. Richard GoodkinJune 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Many of the other reviewers summarized the show nicely. HF is amazingly talented. We saw and loved his Gershwin show. My wife and I differed on this show. She loved it. I merely liked it. I love Stephen Foster’s music, but there was precious little of it, and far too little of any music. I guess HF wants to go beyond his music to showcase his considerable dramatic flair, but the story and presentation were, after all, a “downer” about one of the most tragic events in American history. I was looking forward to an uplifting evening of period music. If I had been expecting a dramatic tour de force, this was it, but I was disappointed at how little music we heard, especially in a show entitled Lincoln’s Piano.


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