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The Cast Album For IRVING BERLIN: IN PERSON Is Now Available


The Cast Album For IRVING BERLIN: IN PERSON Is Now Available

The cast album for "Irving Berlin: In Person," starring Jon Peterson--as produced at New York's 13th Street Theater--is out now! Written and directed by ASCAP Award-winner Chip Deffaa, the show traces the life of America's number-one songwriter. The album features Richard Danley--who's worked on most of Deffaa's shows and albums--as music director/pianist. Jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein--winner of the Bistro Award, the New York Nightlife Award, and the Down Beat Rising Star Award is featured on violin and mandolin. The album--available from CDBaby, Amazon, ITunes, Footlight Records etc.--may be ordered, as either a physical CD or a digital download, here:

It's the 28th album Deffaa has produced, and the latest in his series re-examining the legacy of Irving Berlin. Deffaa is considered to be the foremost living authority on Berlin. As for "Irving Berlin: In Person" (which is published and licensed by Leicester Bay Theatricals), Deffaa notes: "I wrote this show with Jon Peterson in mind. For my money, there's no greater song-and-dance man working in the theater today."

Peterson, who has starred in many shows in his native England, has won American fans starring as the Emcee in "Cabaret." He's starred in two national tours of that musical, and has covered the role on Broadway. He's also starred in "George M. Cohan Tonight!," which Deffaa wrote for him; he's performed that show countless times, in New York, New Orleans, Hollywood, London, Seoul, and many other cities. "We hope that this show will have the same kind of legs that the Cohan show has. And I look forward, over time, to seeing other performers try their hand at this show. It's a very challenging show to do--with more than two dozen Berlin songs--but the music is pure Americana. And we use Berlin's own songs to tell his life story."

Deffaa has written several other shows about Berlin for larger casts, such as "The Irving Berlin Story," also published and licensed by Michael Perry's Leicester Bay Theatricals, and "Irving Berlin's Americas" (published by Steele Springs Stage Rights). And a new musical play about Berlin, "Say it with Music," is to have its world-premiere in Princeton, NJ, starring Alex Deland, next year.

Why so many shows about Berlin? Deffaa notes: "Different theaters may prefer shows for different-sized casts, or with different feels. Berlin's music is so rich, engaging, and varied--and his life-story so fascinating--I want to offer shows for any community theater, regional theater, or professional theater of any kind. I also think--as producer Ted Kurdyla has suggested--Berlin's life could make great TV special, mini-series, or movie. The different scripts and albums
suggest a lot of possibilities."

Deffaa has been developing his Berlin shows at his base in NYC, the historic 13th Street Repertory Theater. Deffaa notes: "I'm grateful to Edith O'Hara, the founder/original artistic director of the 13th Street Theater, for giving me carte blanche to develop shows there. And to Joe Battista, who's running the theater so dynamically today now that Ms. O'Hara is retired, for continuing the tradition. We'll bring this show back to the theater, and also try out a brand now show, in the coming year."

A lifelong Berlin enthusiast, Deffaa has produced many albums celebrating Berlin, featuring rare and previously-unrecorded Berlin songs, such as "An Irving Berlin Travelogue," "The Irving Berlin Duets Album," "The Irving Berlin Songbook," "Irving Berlin Revisited," and "The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue."

The "Irving Berlin: In Person" cast album was recorded by Slau Halatyn at BeSharp Studios in Astoria. Frank Avellino did graphic design. Music was prepared by Don Brown and Richard Danley. Chip Deffaa is executive producer for Garret Mountain Records; Steve Garrin and Matthew Nardozzi are Associate Producers. Providing production assistance were Juan Rendon and Mateus Miranda, with an assist from Joe Figueiredo. The album is expected to make its radio debut on David Kenney's "Everything Old is New Again" radio program, now in its 40th year on WBAI-FM.
The new album is available for purchase here:

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