KT Sullivan & Mark Nadler



In all ways a sure hit
June 6, 2005

IF YOU want to write a show about an enormously prodigious artist, try flying from New York to Adelaide.

"When you have that much time, you can handle a man who lived 101 years and wrote 2500 songs," says New York pianist Mark Nadler, who boarded a plane for the 2003 Adelaide Cabaret Festival with Irving Berlin's complete book of lyrics tucked under his arm.

"I read the whole thing on the way to Adelaide, and by the time I had finished those 2500 songs, we still weren't there."

Complementing his task, Nadler's musical partner, singer KT Sullivan, sat alongside him with her nose buried in the Berlin biographies.

By the time their Adelaide Cabaret Festival season had come to a close and they'd returned home, the show was in the bag.

Always, the Love Story of Irving Berlin follows the life and love affair of the great 20th century songwriter and his wife, American heiress Ellin Mackay Berlin, through Irving Berlin's songs.

Described as a book musical, in which Nadler and Sullivan play Mr and Mrs Berlin, it won rave reviews and two major New York cabaret awards.

Now it's traveling back across the Pacific for a season at this month's Adelaide Cabaret Festival.