The Reagle Players of Waltham, Massachusetts celebrated opening night of Say It with Music on Friday, October 2, at the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street. This limited run ends on Sunday, October 4 at 2 p.m. The show is a grand song and dance revue highlighting the words and music of Irving Berlin and starring Broadway couple and Reagle favorites Beverly Ward and Kirby Ward. Say It with Music is conceived and directed by Robert J. Eagle with musical direction by Paul S. Katz. Choreography is by Susan M. Chebookjian, Laura Headrick and Beverly and Kirby Ward.
The parade of non-stop Berlin hits features 40 of the composer's most memorable tunes from the stage, screen and American Songbook. The Wards, backed by an ensemble of 30 singers, seven dancers, and a swinging six-piece ragtime band, delight in duets and solo turns that include "Cheek to Cheek," "They Say That Falling in Love Is Wonderful," a medley of "It's a Lovely Day Today" and "Isn't It a Lovely Day to Be Caught in the Rain?" plus the show-stopping tap extravaganza "Let Yourself Go." Beverly shines in "Moonshine Lullaby" and "I Got the Sun in the Morning" from Annie Get Your Gun while Kirby shows off his terpsichorean trickery in "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails."
Other show highlights include a barbershop quartet rendition of "Simple Melody" featuring the deliciously warm close harmonies of George Bouchard, Marc Bourgeois, Jean-Alfred Chavier and Herb Philpott; the haunting "Suppertime" sung by Ann Ormond; the comical "You'd Be Surprised" with Jane Corrigan and Jim Kopycinski; and the classic ballads "Blue Skies" by Rusty Russell and "White Christmas" by R. Glen Michell and company. The full ensemble completes the evening with rousing performances of "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "There's No Business like Show Business," and our country's unofficial second national anthem, "God Bless America."
Mistress of ceremonies Aurelie Alger ties the program together nicely with historical and personal anecdotes about Berlin's prolific and enduring 20th Century career. The tunesmith - of whom Jerome Kern once said, "Irving Berlin has no place in American music, he is American music" - lived to be 101 and composed more than 1500 songs. He penned the scores to 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films.
For information and tickets to Say It with Music, visit www.reagleplayers.com.
PHOTOS by Jan Nargi
Kirby and Beverly Ward demonstrate their Fred and Ginger moves
Aurelie Alger, mistress of ceremonies
Half of the barbershop quartet, Marc Bourgeois and George Bouchard
Female soloists Jane Corrigan, Cara Green, Angela Richardson, Sue Carity Conkey and Cathy Headrick
Mother-daughter team Cathy Headrick and co-choreographer Laura Headrick
Male soloists Doug Hodge, Chris King and Bob Cincotta
Male soloist and barbershop quartet member Jean-Alfred Chavier
Musical Director Paul S. Katz
Singing and dancing stars of the show, Beverly and Kirby Ward