THEATER REVIEW: “Coming Back Like a Song!” @ BTG’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage [Berkshire on Stage]
Review by Macey Levin
There’s a nostalgic musical diversion currently receiving its world premiere at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge. Coming Back Like a Song! by Lee Kalcheim is a play about Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen, three giant composers on the Broadway and Hollywood stages of old. Though there is biographical information and moments of emotion throughout the work, the show is basically a revue of wonderful music from the mid-20th century.
What’s so bad about that?
On Christmas Eve, 1956, Berlin (David Garrison) Arlen (Philip Hoffman) and Van Heusen (David Rasche) gather at Berlin’s New York townhouse after an ASCAP meeting to discuss the onslaught of rock ’n’ roll into popular music, in particular, Elvis Presley. Berlin puts on a 45RPM (which he disdains because they’re small with a big hole in the middle) for a cut of Presley’s “Hound Dog.” Van Heusen is a proponent of the new music because things change, and you have to change with them. The other two are not happy with the state of things… “Where’s the music?”