Throwback Thursday: “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”

#TBT all the way back to 1942’s This is the Army, featuring Irving Berlin himself singing “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” This classic tune was inspired in part by Berlin’s own experience in the army after being drafted in 1918 and eventually appeared in three different stage musicals: Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, Yip Yip Yaphank, and This is the Army. Berlin would later describe the song as “a protest written from the heart out, absolutely without the slightest thought that it would ever earn a cent.”

When the stage production of This is the Army was adapted into a feature film by Warner Brothers in 1942, Berlin reprised his rendition of “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” Of his singing performance, Berlin was reportedly quoted as saying: “As for my voice, I made a recording. When the record was first played on the set, one of the electricians, who didn’t know whose voice it was, said ‘If the guy who wrote that song could hear the record, he would turn over in his grave’…However I am hoping it won’t be too bad.”

Since its composition in 1918, “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” has inspired countless parodies and is considered the Berlin number with which he is most strongly associated as a performer. The popularity of the song has soared and remains just as funny almost a century after being written.

Reserve your seats for Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin now!

 

OSKAR AND THE COUNTLESS COSTUME CHANGES: An Inside Look

 

NewOSKARlobbyslide

One of the highlights of our Education programs has been the profound positive impact of the Oskar series of touring assemblies. Since 2006, the Oskar series  has tackled subjects such as bullying, stress, perseverance, and diversity using comedic characters to open a dialogue on the topic for elementary aged children in the Bay Area. This year’s touring production of a brand new Oskar play, Oskar and the Countless Costume Changes, will open a conversation about gender roles and identity to a young audience. During the final stages of editing the new script, we sat down with writers Prince Gomovilas and Matt Ackels for their thoughts on the impact of Oskar and presenting a conversation on gender identity to children:

TWSV: This is a play about gender expression. Can you talk about that?

Prince: It’s about the different ways that children express gender across a wide spectrum. They don’t always fall into the categories that you would traditionally expect them to.

Matt: It’s also about the way they receive the gender expression of others and conceive of gender expression, both for the individual and their relationship with their classmates. Continue reading

The TAEA Experience by Neiry Rojo

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Neiry Rojo with the cast of JANE AUSTEN’S EMMA on their first day of rehearsal

Neiry Rojo is one of four Artistic Engagement Apprentices, or TAEAs, here at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley- an elite group of emerging theatre artists learning from multiple departments within the company. Performing in JANE AUSTEN’S EMMA served as the capstone to their experience. As the show approaches closing night, Neiry reflects on her experience as a TAEA as a guest blogger:

Hello, world!

Neiry takes a twirl during her costume fitting for JANE AUSTEN’S EMMA

My name is Neiry and I was fortunate enough to have been chosen as one of four Artistic Engagement Apprentices for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Our apprenticeship was broken down into four blocks: participating in TheatreWorks’ 14th Annual New Works Festival in August, assisting the Education Department with their new show, Oskar and the Countless Costume Changes, working on individualized projects with the Marketing Department, and, last but not least, participating in the holiday show, Jane Austen’s Emma.

The 14th Annual New Works Festival was a lovely way to start the apprenticeship. I assisted as the stage reader for Lynn Rosen’s play, Man and Beast, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, Director of New Works. What a hoot! From the moment this two week experience began, I could not stop laughing. There was plenty of work, but there was also plenty of joy sandwiched in between moments of analysis. It was thrilling to have the playwright in the room. Watching Lynn Rosen work, listening so freely, openly, and intently to the actors traipsing through her language was a delight. Observing what she chose to cut, add, or change (“maybe I should add an extra ‘Oh’…”), was incredibly interesting. I am a fan of language and word play, and this experience heightened my love of what I call “the small.” The small words, details, sounds, and pauses that carve your experience as an audience member, the details that creep under your skin without you realizing, preparing you for what will come in the end. Ms. Sardelli’s energy is infectious and buoyant– the two weeks passed in the blink of an eye. Continue reading