Lawrence Woodmere Academy alumnus Andrew Barth Feldman, a co-star of the 2023 romantic comedy ”No Hard Feelings,” will return to his alma mater for a one-night benefit concert on March 3.
The Woodmere school’s auditorium was filled with excited students and staff as Feldman, a member of the Class of 2020, appeared on a large screen via Zoom on Jan. 25.
“Hey, hey, everybody!” Feldman said, his greeting eliciting an enthusiastic response. “I’m bringing some friends together to put on a benefit concert of ‘13,’ the musical, here at the theater, which is a show I love so much.” The Broadway musical “13,” about a Jewish boy dealing with his parents’ divorce and his upcoming bar mitzvah, featured music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.
All proceeds raised by the performance will benefit the performing arts program at LWA.
Feldman, one of the school’s more notable alumni, is the son of Barbra Barth Feldman, LWA’s headmaster, who died of cancer in 2019. She graduated from the school in 1982 — before the merger of the Woodmere Academy and Lawrence Country Day School — was the summer camp director from 2010 to 2019 and served as head of the school from January 2019 until she died that August.
Feldman, 21, a native of Woodmere, began his acting career in musical theater in LWA’s production of “Catch Me if You Can,” and won the National High School Musical Theatre Award, also known as the Jimmy, in 2018. He was on his way to Harvard University in the fall of 2020, but deferred enrollment for a year due to the pandemic.
Last year, Feldman was cast in the movie “No Hard Feelings,” alongside the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence. Many of the movie’s scenes were filmed in the Five Towns in 2022. Feldman has also appeared in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” in a recurring guest role, and on Broadway, in “Dear Evan Hanson.”
LWA’s auditorium, Hessel Hall, was renamed the Barbra Barth Feldman Performing Arts Center in 2020, and underwent renovations after the school raised over $100,000 to improve music classrooms, add new dance and yoga studios and a performance rehearsal space, and upgraded private lesson rooms. The renovations were completed in September.
“Lawrence Woodmere Academy is thrilled to welcome Andrew Feldman back to the Barbra Barth Feldman Performing Arts Center at Hessel Hall, named for his mother, who was a longtime friend,” school officials noted in a news release.
Coordinating the benefit concert with Feldman is the school’s drama teacher, Henry McDaniel — who is in his second year at LWA.
“Since the first time we started working with Andrew, two things have happened almost daily,” McDaniel wrote in an email. “First, each day, someone has told me a different and remarkable story about how the amazing Barbra Feldman, Andrew’s mother and former LWA Head of School before her passing, has changed their lives for the better.
“And second, Andrew has been the kindest, most humble individual with whom I’ve worked,” McDaniel added. “We’re so excited for people to come see the reinvigoration of the amazing Arts Programming at LWA and thankful once again to Andrew for all he’s doing to shine light on that.”
Ella Schwartz, an LWA board member and a friend of Barbra Feldman’s, said she took pride in Andrew’s return to his roots.
“I am so proud of Andrew for returning to Lawrence Woodmere Academy and honoring his mother in such a special way,” Schwartz wrote in an email. “Barbra was a remarkable force at LWA, deeply passionate about the arts and committed to seeing every student shine on stage.
“The money we hope to raise from this production will ensure that future generations of performers will continue to benefit from the strong foundation Barbra established,” Schwartz added. “Barbra would be so touched by Andrew and all the performers honoring her name in such a meaningful way.”
LWA Headmaster Hank Williams — who is also the boys’ basketball coach — also sounded exuberant about Feldman’s return.
“We are so excited that Andrew is returning to his alma mater to perform at The Barbra Barth Feldman Performing Arts Center, established in remembrance of his beloved mother,” Williams wrote. “I am honored to welcome him back home to LWA for a remarkable evening.”
For more information and tickets to the March 3 show, call (516)-374-9000.