A SONGWRITING LESSON FROM IRVING BERLIN
This play is performed live in its entirety from a lovely studio space with a baby grand piano that fits the setting of Irving Berlin’s hotel/apartment.
Dan Belzer portrays America’s favorite songwriter who shares his life story along with his nine rules for writing a hit song, illustrated by such classics as White Christmas, Blue Skies, and God Bless America.
The year is 1947 and Berlin has been up all night writing the music for “Annie Get Your Gun.” In the morning his new assistant arrives (the audience) and Irving reminisces about his life. He shares that he was only a kid when his family left Russia for America, and lived on Manhattan’s poverty stricken Lower East side. He explains how hard work and perseverance paid off. From singing on the streets for spare change, to “plugging” songs in vaudeville houses, to selling his own songs to music publishers on “Tin Pan Alley.” Before he knows it he is teaching his assistant how to make a lot of money by writing hit songs.Berlin entertains his assistant with some of his most popular songs and the stories behind their creation. These include “God Bless America,” “Blue Skies,” and “White Christmas.”
This program is made possible through special arrangement with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization on behalf of the Estate of Irving Berlin.
Written by Abraham Tetenbaum; Performed by Dan Belzer.
Corresponding Class: In My Own Words
Download attachments: Classroom Connection Guide