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Summer Theatre to Present Celebration of Music of Irving Berlin, 'I Love a Piano,' July 11 to 27

Public Relations
Posted: Thursday Jun 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will continue its 45th season of professional theatre with a hilarious and heartwarming celebration of the music of Irving Berlin, I Love a Piano, conceived by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley, July 11 to 27, directed by Colleen Reilly.

The cast includes Renata Marino as Sadie, Kevin Daniel O’Leary as Jim, Greggory Brandt as Alex, Audra Qualley as Ginger, Lara Hayhurst as Eileen and David Purdy as George.

“I think that I Love a Piano is going to be just magical!” Reilly commented. “It takes some of the best-loved songs of Irving Berlin – arguably the greatest popular American composer of the 20th century – and brings them all together in a really delightful series of scenes and sketches that are funny, romantic and touching celebrations of the best of America in the first half of the 20th century.”

“It was a tumultuous time in our history – two world wars, the depression and all the craziness that came in between – but I think that people will really enjoy hearing some of the old favorites, songs that they know and love like Cheek to Cheek, God Bless America and White Christmas,” Reilly continued. “These are songs that people still love decades after they were written, but I also think they will be pleasantly surprised by some of the songs that are in the show that are less well known. They will recognize Blue Skies, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, and There’s No Business Like Show Business. But there are also some really wonderful songs that Berlin wrote about some of the challenges that confronted soldiers coming back after the war, songs that are funny and enjoyable but also full great compassion for some real problems. He wrote a wonderful song called Suppertime that I never heard before I worked on this show which is about a war widow trying to find the wherewithal to make dinner for her kids when her husband is not coming home. There are some songs like that that people haven’t heard or haven’t heard very often that I think they’re going to be blown away by. Berlin just wrote so much good music and in addition to all the classics that everybody will be excited to hear again like Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, and Putting on the Ritz, songs that people know and love, interspersed with those are some wonderful songs that people might not have heard or might not have heard too often. I think that will delight people.”

Marc Tourre will serve as music director for the show. “He has been the music director for our last two productions of Forever Plaid and our hit production of Plaid Tidings last December,” Reilly noted. “He does a fantastic job. He is a very talented musician and a joy to work with.”

“Most of the actors in this show are old favorites to our audiences,” Reilly said. “The three men have all appeared in at least one production of Forever Plaid so I think audiences will remember them with affection. Gregg, David and Kevin have all been Plaids at one time or another. Renata Marino is in her 20th summer at Saint Vincent. Audiences know that when Renata is on stage they are going to be thoroughly entertained. She’s a wonderful actress, singer, dancer and an incredible performer.”

“We are also very excited by the new actresses,” Reilly concluded. “Audra Qualley is a recent graduate of Point Park. She is young and very talented, an exciting performer. Lara Hayhurst is also new to our stage. She has been seen in Pittsburgh most recently in Pittsburgh Musical Theatre’s production of Sound of Music where she played Maria. She’s been in a number of musicals and plays all over the country. I’m very excited to work with her in this show and in the next. Her voice is fantastic and her audition was very funny. I think she is going to be a joy to watch.”

A preview performance is scheduled at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, July 11. Regular performances are set for 8:10 p.m. Friday, July 12, Saturday, July 13, Tuesday to Saturday, July 16 to 20 and 23 to 27. Two matinees are scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 17 and Sunday, July 21.

Individual tickets are $10 for preview performances, $19 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $22 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $16 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a $2 discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Special subscription plans are also available through Saturday, June 29. In addition, student tickets are available for $10 for any seat, any performance.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free van shuttle service is provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre continues to feature its well-known cabaret, the special after-the-show party to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and all matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show party.

The 24th annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala will be held Friday, July 12. It will feature a festive evening of gourmet food and professional theatre hosted by a select committee of theatre supporters. All proceeds benefit the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre. To receive an invitation or further details, phone 724-805-2901.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made by calling the theatre box office at 724-537-8900 or going online to www.svst.org. A credit card is required for online reservations which are transferable but non-refundable. Further information is available by contacting the box office.


Photos: Renata Marino, Kevin Daniel O’Leary, Greggory Brandt, Audra Qualley, Lara Hayhurst and David Purdy. 


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