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Cast of HOLIDAY INN and More Set for Irving Berlin Events in NYC This Summer

Rodgers & Hammerstein, An Imagem Company will celebrate a summer of Irving Berlin special events to explore the iconic American songwriter behind "God Bless America," "White Christmas," "Blue Skies," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and countless others.

Different elements of Berlin's legacy will be examined with events featuring music and talks at Eldridge Street Jewish Museum and Synagogue (June 26), Museum of the City Of New York (July 6) and Museum of Jewish Heritage (August 2).

The roster is inspired by the Red Star Line exhibit "Via Antwerp: The Road to Ellis Island" -- which honors Berlin as one of our great immigrants -- at New York's Ellis Island Immigration Museum through September 4, and the Broadway debut of the new musical adaptation of HOLIDAY INN at Studio 54, beginning previews on September 1.

Ted Chapin, R&H President and Chief Creative Officer, comments "We are thrilled to celebrate so many aspects of the life and career of the legendary composer Irving Berlin with some of New York's most prestigious museums. These events were inspired by the extraordinary exhibit on the Red Star Line currently at Ellis Island, and will dive into Berlin's immigrant experiences. You can't celebrate Irving Berlin without songs, so there will be songs performed at all the events, both known and unknown. We'll also preview the upcoming Broadway production of Holiday Inn. Berlin's life embodied the American Dream in so many ways, and it all started with his life as an immigrant."

"The Early Life of Irving Berlin"

Eldridge Street Jewish Museum and Synagogue

Sunday, June 26 at 3 pm

Composer and musician Irving Berlin was born in 1888 in Belarus, the son of a synagogue cantor. With his family he fled to New York via Antwerp's Red Star Line to escape the anti-semitic pogroms. Like so many other immigrant families in the late 19th century, they settled on the Lower East Side. Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Red Star Line historian Bram Breelaert explore Berlin's early life and work. Cast members from Holiday Inn, the new Irving Berlin musical opening on Broadway this fall, present Berlin's vaudeville and Yiddish compositions influenced by his experience growing up on the Lower East Side. Songs include "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "When I Lost You," "Yiddisha Eskimo" - an unpublished Berlin song written for Fanny Brice - and "God Bless America" in Yiddish.

Museum at Eldridge Street - 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002

Tickets $12 to $16 available HERE

"The Genius of Irving Berlin: A New York Story"

Museum of the City Of New York

Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 PM

Join the Museum for an evening of song and talk about Irving Berlin's long and glittering New York career, spanning from the 1920s through the 1960s. From humble beginnings, Berlin rose to become synonymous with American music, the composer and lyricist of hundreds of hits including "God Bless America," "Blue Skies," "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "White Christmas." Participants include Ted Chapin; Robert Kimball, editor of The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin; Elizabeth Matson, Berlin's granddaughter; and members of the cast of Holiday Inn performing select Berlin hits including "God Bless America," "Easter Parade," "Puttin' On The Ritz," "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" and "White Christmas."

Museum of the City of New York - 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029

Tickets $12 to $16 available HERE

Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum

"The Making of Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical"
featuring cast members from the upcoming Broadway show

Tuesday, August 2 at 7:00 PM

Explore the transition from film to stage of Holiday Inn, the 1942 Academy Award-winning movie with songs by Irving Berlin that is making its Broadway debut this fall. This joyous musical features thrilling dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy, and a parade of hit songs, including "Blue Skies," "Cheek to Cheek," "Shaking the Blues Away," and more. Cast members from Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical will present a sneak preview of several songs from the show. Speakers will include Ted Chapin and the Roundabout Theater Company creative team of Holiday Inn.

Museum of Jewish Heritage - 36 Battery Place, NY 10280

Admission is free but reserve HERE

Founded by the legendary team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and headquartered in New York City, Rodgers & Hammerstein, An Imagem Company owns the rights to the world's most popular stage and film musicals, including Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. As an agency, R&H encompasses a music publishing company; a concert rental library; and a theatrical licensing branch that collectively represent more than 12,000 songs, 900 concert pieces, 200 writers, and 100 musicals, including works by Irving Berlin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Guettel, Rodgers & Hart, Kern & Hammerstein, and many more.

Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11, 1888. One of eight children, his exact place of birth is unknown, although his family had been living in Tolochin, Byelorussia, when they immigrated to New York in 1893. When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, took to the streets in various odd jobs, working as a busker singing for pennies, then as a singing waiter in a Chinatown Cafe. In 1907 he published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy," and by 1911 he had his first major international hit - "Alexander's Ragtime Band."

Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards includes "How Deep Is The Ocean," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Always," "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek To Cheek," "Puttin' On The Ritz," "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody," "Heat Wave," "Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning," "Easter Parade" and "Let's Face The Music And Dance." In a class by itself is his beloved paean to his beloved country, "God Bless America."

He was equally at home writing for Broadway and Hollywood. He wrote seventeen complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues, and contributed material to six more. Among the shows featuring all-Berlin scores were The Cocoanuts, As Thousands Cheer, Louisiana Purchase, This is the Army, Miss Liberty, Mr. President, Call Me Madam and the phenomenally successful Annie Get Your Gun. Among the Hollywood movie musical classics with scores by Irving Berlin are Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, On the Avenue, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Holiday Inn, Blue Skies, Easter Parade, White Christmas and There's No Business Like Show Business. His songs have provided memorable moments in dozens of other films, from The Jazz Singer (1927) to blockbusters like Home Alone (1991) and Titanic (1997).

Irving Berlin was a co-founder of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), founder of his own music publishing company, and with producer Sam Harris, builder of his own Broadway theatre, The Music Box. An unabashed patriot, his love for - and generosity to - his country is legendary, exemplified by his establishing The God Bless America Fund, which receives all income from his patriotic songs and distributes it to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

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