Lisa Jura & Michael Golabek
Something extraordinary took place last night. Fred and I went to the Royal George Theater in Chicago and became part of a community of listeners to a riveting and musical account of the early life of Lisa Jura, renowned concert pianist.
The Pianist of Willedsden Lane is told, through stories and classical piano music, by Mona Golabek, daughter of Lisa Jura and Michael Golabek.
We were transported for 90 minutes as Mona, taking on the mantle of her mother and the rich characters that surrounded her during the war,told the story of her mother's flight to London and subsequent years in a youth hostel.
Lisa Jura was one of 10,000 children brought to London right before World War ll as part of Kindertransport, a mission to rescue children throughout Europe, threatened by the Nazi's.
Mona weaves her spell on the audience, with candor, humor, humility and music. The tapestry she creates through the stories and the music is a gift, an unexpected gift we were fortunate to receive last night. We were swept up in the music and I can still feel it in my body, singing it's way into my bones.
The show ends it's Chicago run on September 2. It's based on a book co-authored by Mona.
As I was sitting comfortably in my second row seat, I couldn't help but wonder, with what is happening in Syria right now, could we, along with our allies, offer safe haven for the children in Syria with our own version of a Kindertransport?