Now that Irving Berlin's songs are back in circulation for use in revues, several theatre companies are designing shows around using these classics, among them Tin Pan Alley Rag, The Melody Lingers On and Puttin' On The Ritz, which played four performances in New York (Jan. 29-Feb. 4) and is currently on a 30-city national tour. Next stop for Puttin' On The Ritz: The Irving Berlin Songbook, which world premiered at the Kennedy Center 1996, is the Buell Theatre at Colorado's Denver Center, presented by Denver Center Attractions, March 3 only.
Starring in Ritz as she did in DC is Broadway veteran Carol Lawrence, who was the original Maria in West Side Story. Other Broadway credits include Subways Are For Sleeping, I Do! I Do!, Saratoga and Aurora in Kiss Of The Spider Woman.
Four other Broadway performers comprise the remaining cast, backed by twin concert grand pianos.
Standards in Ritz include "Blue Skies," "God Bless America," "White Christmas" and "Cheek To Cheek." Karen Azenberg directs and choreographs (with additional choreography by Randy Skinner), with musical direction and arrangements by Paul Trueblood.
For tickets ($15-$35) to Puttin' On The Ritz in Dener call (303) 893-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz