“There’s no business like show business” For his 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun, Irving Berlin wrote what has become the unofficial anthem of the American theater: “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. The song is as popular with theater professionals as it is with theater audiences. For those of us who work in “the business of show”, the song fully captures both the grind and the glory we experience every working day. It’s a marathon of resilience, creating and producing theater, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Welcome to ArtsEmerson. We are the professional producing arm of Emerson College, bringing the best in world theater to the city of Boston. This performance marks the beginning of our sixth year putting the world on stage in this historic theater district. The story of the American theater runs right down these streets. With music and lyrics by Berlin, and produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Annie Get Your Gun got its launch to Broadway here in 1946. It was following the same path of two earlier Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! and Carousel.
“There’s no people like show people”
We’re very happy to welcome Hershey Felder back to ArtsEmerson. Very likely you are already a fan of Felder’s, as are we. Our relationship dates back to pre-ArtsEmerson days, when our founder, Rob Orchard, produced a long and happy run of George Gershwin Alone at the A.R.T. In addition to a Gershwin reprise, Hershey’s performed his Leonard Bernstein and Abraham Lincoln shows at ArtsEmerson and we presented his production of The Pianist of Willesden Lane, featuring Mona Golabeck.
Hershey is cut from the same cloth as Rodgers and Hammerstein. He is a showman, first and foremost. There are few people in the American theater today that can rival the connection he has with his audience. At the center of that connection is a kind of generosity of spirit that we can feel from our seats. He loves what he’s doing, that’s clear. But he also loves what we’re doing as he does it. This exchange of energy, between the artist and the audience, is the alchemical stuff of live performance. It’s why we come to the theater, to feel that magic. And it’s what theater people do- they create that magic. Hershey’s a master magician. Tonight he’s channeling another one, Irving Berlin. Hershey Felder plus Irving Berlin? Now that’s showbiz!”
Let’s go, on with the show.