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24.10.12

Gershwin for the 21st Century

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Charles T. Downey, New York Festival of Song pokes gentle fun at politics in Vocal Arts D.C. show
Washington Post, October 24, 2012

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Gershwin, Of Thee I Sing / Let 'Em Eat Cake, 1987 studio cast recording, M. Tilson Thomas
[MP3]
The chance to hear some gentle fun poked at America’s political obsessions was welcome Monday night, especially as it coincided with the final presidential debate. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the New York Festival of Song, which gave its annual performance for Vocal Arts D.C. in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.

To celebrate the milestone, artistic director Steven Blier revived “Mr. Gershwin Goes to Washington,” a 1997 compilation of songs from George and Ira Gershwin’s three politically themed musicals, woven together with updated twists by Laurence Maslon. Alongside a lot of (perhaps too many) Gershwin songs, from “Strike Up the Band,” “Of Thee I Sing,” and “Let ’Em Eat Cake” — plus the Burton Lane song “In Our United State,” included because Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics — were easy jokes about the 47 percent and binders full of women. [Continue reading]
Mr. Gershwin Goes to Washington
New York Festival of Song
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

SEE ALSO:
Vivien Schweitzer, On a Political Stage, It’s Gershwin by a Landslide (New York Times, October 22)

Emily Cary, Gershwin and politics -- a winning, witty partnership (Washington Examiner, October 20)

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