by KYW's Bob Nelson
Are you one of those who complain about the state of American popular music? Where, oh where are the songs that once embraced our "Hit Parade" -- hummable, danceable, singable melodies from Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley?
We are fortunate to have at the Prince Music Theatre (through early November) Mark Nadler and KT Sullivan, a pair of musical talents -- historians as much as performers -- recreating the lives and works of two of the giants of those golden years: Irving Berlin and, further down the line, Cole Porter.
The Berlin panorama is titled, "Always: The Love Story of Irving Berlin."
We know that Berlin arrived a penniless immigrant and became the most prolific and famous songwriter in our history.
The program at The Prince is not just two performers and a piano but a heart-stirring musical narrative of the man responsible for thousands of songs from 17 film scores, 21 Broadway shows, and individual pieces (not all of which were chartbusters).
We witness episodes from Berlin's marriage of 62 years to the former Ellin MacKay, a relationship which inspired a number of Berlin songs.