OF THEE I SING
by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind
Music & lyrics by George & Ira Gershwin
Directed by Jove Graham, Musical Direction by Diane Scott
Danville Middle School, 120 Northumberland Rd, Danville
THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY!
Friday, July 8, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 9, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 10, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
The original musical lampoon of American politics! One of the longest-running Broadway shows of the 1930’s, and the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama!
Just in time for the 2016 elections, RiverStage presents the classic all-American musical satire Of Thee I Sing the weekend of July 8-10 at Danville Middle School in Danville! All seating is general admission, regular tickets are $15, and tickets for children age 12 and under are just $8, with group discounts available.
Of Thee I Sing by the comedy-writing duo George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind (Animal Crackers, A Night at the Opera), with music and lyrics by Ira and George Gershwin (Porgy and Bess, Strike Up the Band), is the original musical satire of American politics. The story focuses on the election campaign of John P. Wintergreen who, lacking any new ideas, runs on the platform that “Love Is Sweeping the Country” and promises that if elected, he will marry the winner of an Atlantic City beauty pageant. Trouble begins when he falls in love with Mary Turner (the campaign secretary) instead of Diana Devereaux (the Southern belle who wins the pageant).
“Of Thee I Sing is an amazing show,” says director Jove Graham. “We’re excited about it, partly because it’s a rare gem that you’re not going to see anywhere else in this area. It’s a hysterical musical that’s fun for the whole family, but it doesn’t typically get performed by high schools because it needs actors across a wide variety of ages and the beautiful musical score by George Gershwin is a challenging one. We have a terrific cast and a professional orchestra, under the musical direction of Diane Scott, who bring the story and the jokes to life. We’re also huge fans of the zany Marx Brothers movies that these authors wrote, and a lot of the humor in this show is very much in that same, screwball style. It’s also just amazing how much of the political humor that was funny in the 1930’s is still right on target and funny today in 2016. Actually, it’s sad that politics has changed so little, but it’s funny at the same time!”
With politicians getting skewered left and right (including a Vice President who wanders the White House unrecognized by his own staff), Of Thee I Sing is a hilarious and timeless send-up of presidential elections and politics that is as funny and relevant today as ever. The show features a large cast of 40 actors, singers and dancers who have appeared in productions with RiverStage, Valley Players, Christ Wesleyan Church, Shippensburg University, National Historic Theatre, and many others. The show will be performed with a full, live orchestra, featuring some of George Gershwin’s greatest tunes including “Love Is Sweeping the Country,” “Of Thee I Sing,” and “Posterity Is Just Around the Corner.” It’s All-American fun for Americans of all ages!