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Chip Deffaa's SAY IT WITH MUSIC Cast Album Will Be Released May 23rd

The album co-stars Michael Townsend Wright and Jed Peterson.

Chip Deffaa's SAY IT WITH MUSIC Cast Album Will Be Released May 23rd

ASCAP Award-winner Chip Deffaa's "Say it with Music" cast album, co-starring Michael Townsend Wright and Jed Peterson, who helped develop the show at New York's 13th Street Theater, will be released on May 23rd.

The album features a cast of 21, with music direction by Richard Danley.

Pre-order as either a physical CD or digital download here:

The musical play "Say it with Music" tells the saga of legendary composer Irving Berlin. It is published and licensed by Steele Spring Stage Rights.

The foremost living authority on Berlin, Deffaa has written no less than six different published plays about Berlin (for different-sized casts), and has produced 11 albums devoted to Berlin's music.

The "Say it with Music" cast album includes many performers who've appeared in shows that Deffaa has written and directed, such as Jon Peterson (who starred in Deffaa's "George M. Cohan Tonight!" at the Irish Repertory Theater, Off-Broadway, and is currently making the film adaptation of that play), Keith Anderson ("The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue"), Katherine Paulsen ("Mad About the Boy"), Danielle Tolep ("The Fanny Brice Story"), and so on. Others in the cast, such as Caroline Rose McFee, Ryan Muska, Santa Claire Hirsch, and Will Alvarado, are members of Deffaa's recording family. (This is the 31st album Deffaa has produced.) Deffaa himself makes a cameo on the album, singing a number he's recorded before, "Mandy."

The album features one more noteworthy cameo. The character of "Jacqueline Parker" is played on the album by none other than the real-life Jacqueline Parker, whose actual encounter with Berlin near the end of his life is part of the play.

Deffaa notes: "I'm proud of the whole cast--starting with my favorite modern-day vaudevillian, Michael Townsend Wright, as Berlin. But I got a great kick out of the fact that Jacqueline Parker, who for decades has organized memorable Christmas Eve celebrations of Berlin, gets to play herself on the cast recording. That's got to be a first!"

"Say it with Music" recently had its first ZOOM production, by HST Productions of Maryland. Deffaa's show originated with a reading--prior to the pandemic, which shut down "live" theatrical projects everywhere--at Deffaa's longtime base, New York's 13th Street Theater (Joe Battista, Producing Artistic Director). Deffaa had hoped, prior to the pandemic, to do the first full production of the show at Princeton University, and the cast album is dedicated to talented performers from the Princeton theater community--Alex Deland, Mark Dodici, Grace Huegel, Violet Gautreau, Will Alvarado--who helped give him inspiration. "I still hope a way may be found to do it at Princeton someday, after life returns to normal," Deffaa commented. "I'm glad Will Alvarado is on the album, helping to represent Princeton."

Deffaa, who has 20 published plays to his credit, was the first playwright to create a published script telling Berlin's life story. He hopes that his stage plays celebrating Berlin can someday be the basis for a film or television biography of Berlin. Deffaa notes: "Berlin was the most successful single songwriter in history. He created the scores for 18 Broadway shows and 19 Hollywood musicals. He wrote more than 1200 songs. He grew reclusive in his later years and vetoed all proposals to dramatize his life story. But it's a terrific rags-to-riches story. And Berlin's songs remain irresistible. I've researched Belin for decades. All we need is a producer with vision."

The "Say it with Music" cast album will be available on May 23rd from Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Footlight Records, etc.

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