Irving Berlin's THIS IS THE ARMY - Will's New York Nite Life

Irving Berlin's THIS IS THE ARMY

Irving Berlin's THIS IS THE ARMY

Irving Berlin’s “This is the Army”
Feinstein’s / 54 Below
254 W 54th Street, (646) 476-3551
Saturday, November 11 (9:30PM)

In 1942, Irving Berlin broke new ground with a remarkable revue of new songs (and comedy sketches) starring an all-military, all-male cast and featuring some of the legendary composer’s absolute greatest songs, like "This Is The Army, Mr. Jones," "I'm Getting Tired So I Can Sleep," "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen," "That's What the Well Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear," and "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." The production not only played Broadway, but then toured the country, was made into a stunning technicolor movie musical in Hollywood, and then was staged for the benefit of service audiences of both the European and Pacific fronts - for the first time, the theater of war became a theater for musical comedy. The show broke new ground in all kinds of ways, featuring an ensemble of freely-mixed African-American and Caucasian cast members (way before the Armed Forces were integrated), and even had cross-dressing soldiers, way before "don't ask, don't tell." Irving Berlin, who toured with the show even in some of the most dangerous places in the world, considered This is the Army one of the crowning achievements of his amazing career, and this 75th anniversary staging (the first time it’s been produced since WW2) will show us why.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, October 2017)

SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)