"George & Jeanne"
Jeanne Rabin Sings George Gershwin
Jeanne's first one-woman show, produced by "Beit Lessin"
From the show's program:
"A duet . . .
He: George Gershwin, America's most beloved songwriter, "Mr. Broadway", composer of immortal favorites like "Swanee", "I've Got Rhythm", "The Man I Love", for the first time performed in Hebrew translation.
She: Jeanne Rabin at the piano, in song and dance, telling his story."
Vocals, piano, arrangements: Jeanne Rabin
Directed by Shuki Wagner
Hebrew translations: Eliooz Rabin
Costume design: Buki Schiff
Sound and Lighting Design: Meir Alon
Produced by Rachel Gilad, Beit Lessin
Premiere: May 8, 1987
From the album cover:
"George Gershwin died long before I was born. At our home in New York, my late father, Louis Sidrer, used to play the old 78's over and over again: the music of George Gershwin. I grew up on those songs. I never found them "old-fashioned". They were always up-to-date, alive and exciting to me. To play them on piano was a pleasure. To sing them, a celebration. Listening to them always made me smile … or cry.
In all my pre- "George & Jeanne" performances, I'd always included examples of Gershwin's genius. How happy I was to see Gershwin tunes received here in Israel with the same warmth and recognition as they are abroad.
I asked Eliooz Rabin – a marvelous lyricist and translator – to convey the same feel and atmosphere of Ira Gershwin's original lyrics in his Hebrew translation. The result was riveting. And it enabled me to do what I love to do most: sing, play and dance Gershwin, not only in the original English, but in Hebrew as well.
This record is dedicated to my parents, Lou and Lottie Sidrer, for giving me my love of Gershwin.
"George & Jeanne – Jeanne Rabin Sings George Gershwin" ran for over two years at Beit Lessin and all over the country with favorable coverage in the media and recognition amongst Israeli Gershwin lovers.
About ten years later, in 1997, Jeanne's acquaintance with the then Brazilian Ambassador to Israel, Pedro Paulo Assumpcao and his wife, Ana Maria, the Director of the Casa Thomas Jefferson in Brasilia, led to a "dream" invitation: A six city tour of Brazil (Salvador, Goiania, Fortaleza, Brasilia, Porto Allegre, Campinas) of "George & Jeanne". Jeanne went into rehearsals, preparing the show once again, this time in the original English. In each Brazilian city, a translator was waiting to give the audience real-time Portuguese translation of Jeanne's anecdotes and Gershwin stories!
In 2001 came another international invitation for "George & Jeanne" – this time a performance of the show in the famed national theatre of Malta, the "Teatru Manoel" in Valletta. Built in 1731, this theatre is one of the oldest working theaters in Europe and is home to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to the trip to Malta, Jeanne booked a limited run of the show in Israel, this time giving audiences the chance to hear her sing her favorite composer's work in English.