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Irving Berlin Salutes America




No one’s music better exemplifies the culture, mood, history, and patriotism of America than Irving Berlin. Long considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history, his works comprise a major part of the Great American Songbook. Irving Berlin Salutes America, which will open at the PGA Arts Center on November 30th, is a compendium of Berlin’s most patriotic pieces – a musical tribute to Berlin, and to America itself. The production will run through December 24th.

The show was written by Alan Jacobson, the creator of the popular WaistWatchers – The Musical, which has had several successful runs in South Florida, and is now on tour through the U.S. Irving Berlin Salutes America debuted in 2002, but has been tweaked and updated to be as relevant today as it was fifteen years ago.

“I revisited this show for three reasons,” Jacobson explains. “First and foremost is that we are living in difficult times, geopolitically and climate-wise, and our own country has seen politics overtake our lives and create tremendous polarization amongst our citizens, friends and family included. I wanted to use the power of the theatre, and live music, to take people’s minds off the daily stresses, and to remember that we must fight against the divisiveness and bring back a sense of unity and patriotism. “Second was the music,” he continues. “Who better to look to for this kind of upbeat and moving music than Irving Berlin?! This show also exemplifies the tremendous contributions of immigrants; Mr. Berlin was one, and one who proudly served in the American armed services. And the third reason? “I wanted a real feel good, patriotic show – something that will lift peoples’ spirits. Irving Berlin Salutes America has all the ingredients of a show that makes us all proud to be Americans.”

Top South Florida cabaret performers Melissa Jacobson, John Lariviere, and Carbonell Award-winner Leah Sessa will star in Irving Berlin Salutes America, which will be directed by Jacobson with musical staging by Andy Fiacco. Kevin Coughlin will provide the production’s musical direction.

One of the most prolific composers in American history, Irving Berlin’s music has entertained millions since his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy” was published in 1907. His first big hit was “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, which was published in 1911. “His music served as a social barometer for much of the 20th century. It offered hope to a nation in bleak times, and rejoiced in the good things embodied in the American way of life. It also provided anthems for American culture, including such standards as “White Christmas”, “Easter Parade”, “God Bless America”, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. (From Broadway, The American Musical – PBS).

Berlin’s music has also served as inspiration to U.S. military personnel for generations; he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1918, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1919. His musical revue, Yip Yip Yaphank, written while he served, produced the timeless classic, “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”. Another classic, “This is the Army”, was written in 1942 for the film of the same name; proceeds from performances of that song totaled over 10 million dollars, and were donated to the Army Relief Fund.

The PGA Arts Center will honor Berlin’s dedication to the armed forces by offering specially priced tickets to Irving Berlin Salutes America to Veterans. (ID and roof of Veteran status must be provided in order to qualify for these tickets).

Among the songs included in Irving Berlin Salutes America are “This is a Great Country”, “Blue Skies”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Always”, “Heat Wave”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, Steppin’ Out With My Baby”, Puttin on the Ritz”, and of course “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”, and “This is the Army, Mr. Jones, and “God Bless America.”

Tickets for Irving Berlin Salutes America are on sale now and can be purchased on line at www.pgaartscenter.com or by calling 1-855-448-7469. For group sales (10+), call 561-808-3446. Ticket prices and performance times: Thursday at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and Saturday at 2 pm – $45 ($39 for groups of 10 or more). Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm – $48 ($42 for groups of 10 or more). Special price for Veterans – $40 (must show ID and proof of Veteran status). For more information about Irving Berlin Salutes America, or The PGA Arts Center please contact Carol Kassie atcarol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244. The PGA Arts Center is located at 4076 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Ample parking is available within close proximity to the theatre.

Irving Berlin Salutes America
November 30 – December 24
Created and compiled by Alan Jacobson
Tickets: $45 – $48
Tickets: 1-855-448-7469 / www.pgaartscenter.com
Group Sales: 561-808-3446
Performances:
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 2 pm
Thursday: 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 8 pm
PGA Arts Center
4076 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
www.pgaartscenter.com