Theater Folk Gather To Sing Irving Berlin Songs At His Home

Article Pixel

Theater Folk Gather To Sing Irving Berlin Songs At His Home

Friends and admirers of Irving Berlin from New York's theater community--continuing a tradition they began back while Berlin was alive--recently gathered at his former home in New York City to remember him in song. They sang such Berlin classics as "God Bless America," "White Christmas," and "Always," complete with rarely heard verses. Berlin (1888-1989) composed the scores for 18 Broadway shows and 19 films. He wrote more standards and made more money than any of his colleagues in the Golden Aged of American Popular Music.

Although Berlin was reclusive in his later years, he was so touched to hear people singing his songs outside of his home, that he invited everyone inside his home to thank them, when the tradition first started back in the 1980s. The late singer/songwriter John Wallowitch, a friend and neighbor of Berlin's, started the tradition, which continues today under the direction of Jacqueline Parker, a charter member of the original group.

The home where Berlin lived from the 1940s until his passing, 17 Beekman Place, is today the Luxemburg Consulate. The nation of Luxemburg acquired the Berlin home because Berlin famously set one of his musicals, "Call Me Madam" (which Berlin composed in that very home) in a thinly disguised version of Luxemburg.

The singers gathering to honor Berlin include (as seen from left to right, in the photo copyright by Steve Ember): Daryl Sherman, Rick Hinkson, Judy Davis, Jane Goldman, Jacqueline Parker, Riki Kane Larimer, Keith Anderson, Michael Lavine, and Chip Deffaa. Deffaa (who has written and directed several shows about Berlin, including one in which Keith Anderson portrayed John Wallowitch), noted: "I think John would be mighty pleased to know that a tradition he started more than 30 years ago continues to this day. Berlin's songs are pure Americana and they'll live forever."

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Living Room Concert: Lin-Manuel Miranda Sings HAMILTON
Today we've got Lin-Manuel Miranda singing from HAMILTON!... (read more)

VIDEO: Ben Platt and the Cast of DEAR EVAN HANSEN Perform 'You Will Be Found' on James Corden's HOMEFEST
Last night, CBS presented HOMEFEST: James Corden's LATE LATE SHOW SPECIAL, hosted by James Corden. One of the performers was Ben Platt, who joined the... (read more)

Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals Will Stream Online Free; Catch JOSEPH... This Friday, April 3
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals will be streamed online for free!... (read more)

Nick Cordero is in the ICU, May be Positive for COVID-19
Nick Cordero is currently in the ICU, with what was thought to be pneumonia, but may be COVID-19.... (read more)

VIDEO: West End PHANTOM Orchestra Records 'All I Ask Of You' Response to Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber has been bringing beautiful music to us all from his home during these times of social distancing. ... (read more)

Social: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Hanks and More Pay Tribute to Adam Schlesinger
The entertainment community is bereft at the loss of Emmy and Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Adam Schlesinger, who passed away today from coronavirus... (read more)