Irving Berlin musical revue to be performed Oct. 23

Sept. 30, 2009

The Irving Berlin musical revue, “I Love A Piano,” will be performed Friday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life.

Tickets for the performance will go on sale Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Luther College Box Office. Box Office hours are 9-10:30 a.m. and 11a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased online on or after Oct. 8 at http://boxoffice.luther.edu. Tickets cost $24, $22 for seniors age 65 and over and $15 for youths 4-18.

Using 64 of Berlin’s enduring and popular favorite music compositions, “I Love A Piano” spans 70 years of American history as seen through Berlin’s eyes. Presented through dance as well as song, the musical celebrates styles and cultural influences from various eras as it moves through the decades.

Some of Berlin’s most loved songs featured in the musical include “White Christmas,” “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The musical play focuses on a piano made in 1910 which, despite its one broken note, leads a triumphant career that finds six recurring characters crowding around for songs of good cheer and sturdy resolution.   

The musical is performed by eight triple-threat singer/dancer/actors. The cast includes Jackey Good, Crystal Kellogg, Ryan Lammer, George Papas, Hayley Swindal, Ashley Wallace, Jason Weitkamp, and Joshua Woodie.

The musical is directed and choreographed by Ray Roderick, the co-creator of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

“I Love A Piano” will tour 40 cities across the United States as part of its third season national tour.

Irving Berlin never allowed his music to be used in a musical revue. “I Love A Piano” is one of only two revues that feature the songs of America’s most famous popular music composer.

Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11, 1888, in Siberia, Russia. Beilin immigrated to America with his parents at a young age. He did not learn to speak English until the age of 12.

An impoverished immigrant, Beilin dropped out of school and sold newspapers. He later became a singing waiter and learned to play the piano on an old upright.

After writing the lyrics for his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy,” Beilin adopted the name Irving Berlin.

In 1911, Berlin wrote his first international hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Over the course of his career he wrote 3,000 songs, 30 Broadway shows and 17 Hollywood musicals, all in F sharp.

Berlin never learned to read or write sheet music.

On Sept. 22 1989, at the age of 101, Berlin died in his sleep in his New York townhouse.

To learn more about the Irving Berlin Musical Revue, “I Love A Piano,” visit http://www.iloveapianothemusical.com.