Robin Spielberg has had a one-of-a-kind career. She has carved out a place for a herself as a solo piano performer even though she’s not easily classified as classical, jazz or even New Age (though that’s the section of the record store where you were most likely to find her albums back in the ’90s). She spent a lot of time working as an actress, early on, and was a protégé of David Mamet and a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company. After many years of making music, she became a big star, unexpectedly, in South Korea. She developed an interest in the healing power of music and became a spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association
Yet her life story, as told in her often funny but also heart-warming 2013 memoir, “Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland,” is something that will probably resonate with any musician. The bouts of insecurity and directionless. The frustrations of dealing with music industry members who just don’t get it, and the joys of meeting someone, occasionally, who does. The challenges of balancing a personal life with a hectic performing schedule. The high-profile gigs that turn out to be let-downs, and the unexpectedly revelatory shows in unglamorous, out-of-the-way places.
Spielberg will play her music, and read stories from the book, April 11 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. It’s a homecoming show, really, as she grew up in Irvington and Maplewood, and lived for many years in Montclair (where she kept up, for a couple of decades, an annual tradition of playing New Year’s Eve shows). She now lives in rural Pennsylvania, so her Jersey shows have become fairly rare; she is appearing at SOPAC as part of a 20-city tour in support of her new album, Another Time, Another Place.
For more information on the show, visit sopacnow.org.