The Plaza Theatre opened its production of Irving Berlin Salutes America on August 16, 2012.
THE PLAZA THEATRE proudly presents IRVING BERLIN SALUTES AMERICA. A show dedicated to the music of one of our greatest composers. ALEXANDERS RAGTIME BAND, CHEEK TO CHEEK, STEPPIN' OUT WITH MY BABY, GOD BLESS AMERICA, PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ, THIS IS THE ARMY MR. JONES, and many more.Kevin Black directed Melissa Boher Jacobson, John Lariviere, Missy McArdle and Jon Zimmerman. Musical Direction by Vic Glazer.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Four capable performers plus the pianist/ arranger delivered the musical equivalent of a familiar old down comforter and a hot toddy for a nightcap. There was nothing electrifying, no fresh insights for those born after World War II, just an unabashedly pleasant, entertaining evening and that’s what the audience wanted.
(Composer Irving Berlin is) served pretty well here by two genial crooners and two expressive chanteuses: John Lariviere, Jon Zimmerman, Melissa Boher Jacobson and, notably, Missy McArdle.
Three of them do a competent if not enthralling job, but it’s McArdle you’ll remember. Once a mainstay of South Florida musicals, she’s kept her hand in, but hasn’t had the high-profile she once enjoyed when she had seven Carbonell nominations. But all that experience, craft and effusive charisma combine to make her the standout.
Lariviere seduces the ladies in the front rows with a mellow “They Say It’s Wonderful,” Zimmerman skillfully weaves in and out of the written notes in “Blue Skies” and Jacobson’s lyric soprano caresses “I Got Lost In His Arms.”
Other than McArdle’s performance, this is classic old Florida theater, which won’t do much for young audiences or even middle-aged audiences, but ought to reassure their grandparents that the music of their lives was, in fact, really that damn good.Irving Berlin Salutes America plays at The Plaza Theatre through September 9, 2012.