The 1891 Fredonia Opera House presents "An Evening with FDR," featuring Albert McFadyen, on Friday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
On Aug. 14, 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered what has come to be called his "I Hate War" speech at nearby Chautauqua Institution. To commemorate the 77th Anniversary of this historical event, the Fredonia Opera House presents this special evening of nostalgia.
American history comes to life in words and song as Roosevelt's presidential years, 1932 - 1945, are explored. McFadyen, the voice of FDR in Ken Burns' PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" and a contributor to Burns' upcoming "The Roosevelts," takes the audience on a trip down memory lane. All of the major events of The Great Depression and the World War II years are explained by America's greatest president.
An accomplished actor and singer, McFadyen began portraying FDR when cast as the 32nd U.S. president in a community theatre production of Annie. Praise for his portrayal prompted the development of his one-man show, which has been presented at the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park.
McFadyen puts his musical talent to use in the show.
"FDR liked to sing," he said. "There's information, in fact, that he drove the staffs at Hyde Park and the White House crazy with his singing."
"An Evening with FDR" gives the audience a glimpse of both the serious and comic side of the president in a performance that is part history lesson and all entertainment.
General admission tickets to "An Evening with FDR" are $12 ($10 for Opera House members) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at (716)679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. They also may be purchased online any time at www.fredopera.org. The event is made possible, in part, with support from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County. Opera House media partners are WDOE-AM and Kix Country 96-FM radio.
Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported, not-for-profit organization located in the village hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of events is available at www.fredopera.org.