WVLO’s “Irene”, where 9th Avenue meets 5th Avenue

wvlo-irene-1By Ande Jacobson

WVLO closes its Golden Anniversary season with Irene. Enjoy this fun-filled musical featuring a good old-fashioned love story between a working class girl and a high society boy. Here, the music industry collides with the fashion industry, or if you prefer, 9th Avenue meets 5th Avenue. The show first debuted on Broadway in 1919 and enjoyed two subsequent revivals in 1923 and 1973 – the latter revival being the basis for WVLO’s production.

The show is very upbeat (rather literally) with lively toe-tapping music and dancing separated by some lovely ballads, and the sweet story will leave you smiling. This may well be a show that doesn’t immediately come to mind, but several songs are very well-known such as I’m Always Chasing Rainbows, You Made Me Love You, Alice Blue Gown, and though you might not realize it until you see the show, the title tune, Irene. Ragtime music figures into the mix as well with the roaring Riviera Rage.

The creative staff includes: Director Doug Baird, Assistant Director Jill Peter, Music Director Joe Kelly, Vocal Director Jesse Sanchez, and Choreographer Jennifer Gorgulho.

The cast includes: Janice Engelgau (Irene), Richard Portune (Donald), Judy West (Mrs. Marshall), Terri Weitze (Mrs. O’Dare), Charlynn Knighton (Helen), Samantha Stidham (Jane), Steve Anthony (Madam Lucy), Sean Carson-Hull (Ozzie) and an ensemble consisting of: Chris Cruz, Timothy Ford, Emily Goes, Dawn Johnson, David Lamcke, Bridget Maguire, Gregory Matheny, Reggie Reynolds, Evan Revak, Rosanna Weigant, and Tina Tan-Zane.

Joe Kelly’s orchestra includes: Asa Stern, Keith Leung, Ande Jacobson, Jordan Selburn, Nick Chick, Marty McHan, Richard Krishnan, Sai Masumoto, Jesse Sanchez, Jack Godwin, Susan Schadeck, Craig Diserens, Paul Olivo, John Fitzhugh, Mike Robles, Joe Pacheco, Neil Bliss, Dori Shimer, Monica Bugaoan-Abakan, Faye Yang, Miho Nishi, Marilyn Anderson, Judy Diamond, Madeleine Graham, Rob Gloster, Andrew Amistoso, Steve Adkins, and Karen Adkins. Not all musicians will play every performance.

Don’t forget to mention your favorite Irene company member when you order tickets, or tell them you heard about the show here on A Good Reed Review.

Performances are at the Saratoga Civic Theater located at 13777 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 94070. Either check online at wvlo.org, or call 408-268-3777 for tickets. Not all seats are available online, so even if the online ticket service says a performance is sold out, there are likely still seats available.

Performances include:

Sat 27 Jun 2015 8PM
Sun 28 Jun 2015 2:30PM

Fri 03 Jul 2015 8PM
Sun 05 Jul 2015 2:30PM

Fri 10 Jul 2015 8PM
Sat 11 Jul 2015 2:30PM
Sun 12 Jul 2015 2:30PM

Fri 17 Jul 2015 8PM
Sat 18 Jul 2015 8PM
Sun 19 Jul 2015 2:30PM

Fri 24 Jul 2015 8PM
Sat 25 Jul 2015 8PM

(Photo credit: Edmond Kwong)

Purchase Irene (1973 Broadway Revival cast recording).

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