Irving Berlin's Say It With Music
October 1 - October 2, 2011
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston presents “Say It with Music,” a non-stop song-and-dance salute to the genius of composer Irving Berlin. Broadway veterans Kirby and Beverly Ward and popular Boston TV personality and actor Scott Wahle lead a cast of 40 singers, dancers, and a professional orchestra in three performances only, October 1 at 2 and 7 p.m. and October 2 at 2 p.m.
When you think of mainstream American music, the name Irving Berlin is at the top of the list. George Gershwin called Berlin “the greatest song writer that has ever lived.” Jerome Kern said, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” What better tonic in these difficult times than to celebrate anew the most prominent voice in American music during the 20th century? Berlin’s simple yet elegant words and music serve to remind us of the greatness of our country and its people. Not only did Berlin capture and express the essence of the American spirit – and the times – through six decades of musical composition. He also was a shining example of the immigrant rags-to-riches optimism that continues to inspire all of us to work toward the American Dream.
Of the estimated 1500 songs in the Berlin canon – from “Puttin’ on the Ritz” to “White Christmas” – hundreds came from Berlin’s 19 Broadway musicals including “As Thousands Cheer,” “This Is the Army,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Call Me Madam.” Countless other American standards came from his 18 movie scores including “Top Hat,” “Follow the Fleet,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Holiday Inn,” “Easter Parade,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and “White Christmas.” His stirring “God Bless America” has taken its place alongside “The Star Spangled Banner” as our nation’s “unofficial second national anthem.”
Reagle’s “Say It with Music” treats audiences to 40 of Berlin’s most memorable compositions mixing up-tempo jazz with romantic ballads. Highlights include the Wards’ graceful song and dance interpretations which evoke comparisons to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The tap-happy “Let Yourself Go” and the smooth-strutting “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails” are also show-stoppers.