Hershey Felder is no stranger to WFMT listeners. Back in the mid-’90’s we produced a live broadcast of the first show he brought to Chicago, “Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone.” That program was heard live on WFMT and syndicated nationwide by the WFMT Radio Network. Since that time, Felder has appeared in our Levin studio on numerous occasions. And in 2009, we produced on WFMT a live broadcast of an early version of his new program about Abraham Lincoln from the Colburn School. Felder appeared most recently on WFMT in an Impromptu program on March 8th to talk about his Lincoln show.
And it’s that show, “An American Story for Actor and Orchestra,” that will be heard live from Chicago’s Royal George Theater on Thursday evening beginning at 8:00 PM. In this new program, Felder portrays Dr. Charles Augustus Leale, a Union surgeon who attended Lincoln immediately after he was shot on that dreadful evening in April, 1865. I’ve seen the show twice since it opened at the Royal George and can report that it is a immensely moving story that tells Dr. Leale’s story and also recreates in chilling fashion that fateful night at Ford’s Theater. The broadcast will be anchored by WFMT’s Dave Schwan. The show is about 80 minutes with no intermission and at the conclusion, Felder will join Dave at the microphone along with other guests to discuss the play.