Quick, what do "On the Town," "On the Waterfront" and "West Side Story" have in common?
Give up? All three were propelled musically by the genius of Leonard Bernstein, the latest subject in Hershey Felder's series of tributes on the stage of the Laguna Playhouse, this one titled "Maestro."
In his fifth visit to Laguna in a little over a year, Felder changes tempo a bit and may sacrifice some attention as a result. If you're not Jewish and not conversant with musical terminology, "Maestro" may not be as accessible as his previous one-man shows on Gershwin, Chopin and Beethoven.
While Felder offers some rare personal glimpses into the life and career of the master composer and conductor, the show slogs a bit in the early going with an overabundance of attention on Bernstein's childhood, his father's strict Hebrew faith and the finer points of musical composition.
And, while "On the Town" and "On the Waterfront" are pretty much glossed over, Felder brings Bernstein's work on "West Side Story" triumphantly center stage, sharing with his audience the producers' original plans to have the show center on a battle between young Jews and Catholics.