"Irving Berlin's America" Opens May 23 at The Open Eye Theater

By Amiebh, Tue, 5/14/2013 - 11:13 am

The opening performance of the world premiere production of Chip Deffaa's "Irving Berlin's America" is Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 pm at The Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street, Margaretville, NY.  "Irving Berlin's America" is a musical play featuring more than 25 songs by Berlin, and a few favorites by his friend George M. Cohan.   The playwright will be present at the opening and there will be a reception and conversation with him and the cast following the performance.

Starring in "Irving Berlin's America" are Bill Tari as Irving Berlin, and Cedric Taylor as Jack, a youthful "fan" who visits Berlin in his New York City apartment when Berlin is 101 years old.   By that time, Berlin, who had immigrated to America from Russia when he was six years old, worked his way out of the poverty of the Lower East Side and become the most popular American songwriter of the 20th century, was a nearly total recluse.   The old man and the youngster reminisce about high points and low points of Berlin's life, sing his songs, dance to them, and make some discoveries along the way.  The production is staged by Open Eye producing artistic director Amie Brockway.  Music director and accompanist is Kent Brown.  Patricia Dell is choreographer.  Nat Thomas has designed the set and Erwin Karl is lighting designer. 

Playwright Chip Deffaa says, "I've written a lot of plays, books, and articles, but this one is special to me, and comes from a deep place."  Songs include several familiar favorites like "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," and others that people may be hearing for the first time.

Performances are Thursday - Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 for two weekends:  May 23 - June 2.  Reservations are strongly recommended.   Phone 845-586-1660 for reservations and further information; e-mail openeye@catskill.net; or visit our website at www.theopeneye.org.    Tickets are $18 for Adults; $15 for Seniors; $10 for age 25 and younger. 

This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.