Conceived and written by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley, the musical that utilizes the tunes of the late Berlin will begin performances April 22 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA. The limited engagement — directed and choreographed by Roderick — will play through May 7.
The cast for I Love a Piano includes Stephen Breithaupt, Kevin Earley, Kathie Gillmore, Julie Dixon Jackson, Dan Pacheco and Jill Townsend. John Glaudini is the production's musical director.
I Love a Piano, according to press notes, "is a look at America through the insightful and hopeful eyes of Irving Berlin. The show follows the journey of a piano through seventy years as it moves in and out of people's lives, witnessing their ups and downs and celebrating the music and lyrics of Irving Berlin through 64 of his best-loved songs. It is a singing and dancing celebration of America and its people." Songs include "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek to Cheek," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Top Hat" and "Easter Parade."
Ray Roderick was the associate director of both Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol and the recent Broadway revival of The Music Man. He also co-wrote and directed A Christmas Survival Guide, I Love New York and The Prince and the Pauper. Roderick has also directed and choreographed several productions of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. As a performer, he appeared in the Broadway productions of Cats, Grind, Wind in the Willows, Crazy for You and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
The Carpenter Performing Arts Center is located at 6200 Atherton Street in Long Beach, CA, on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Tickets, priced $25-$50, are available by calling (562) 856-1999 or by visiting www.musical.org.