FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: My Pal Izzy – The Early Life And Music Of Irving Berlin

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 7, 2011 · 0 comments

in Festivals, FRIGID 2011, Interviews, Manhattan, Off-Off-Broadway, Theatre

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Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A!  We’ll be running these throughout February until the Festival starts, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival.  Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Melanie Gall who is the Writer/Performer of My Pal Izzy – The Early Life and Music of Irving Berlin

Narrated by Berlin’s childhood friend Becky, My Pal Izzy is a musical comedy that explores the early life of famed composer Irving Berlin. From a song plugger to a singing waiter, young Irving would do anything to succeed.

My Pal Izzy Photo by Karen Young

answers by Melanie Gall – Writer/Performer

Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?

Despite the Frigid New York weather, this festival has been extremely welcoming.  From selecting the perfect venue for my show, to finding me a piano I could rent, the organizers have been helpful, friendly and accessible.  It will be wonderful to meet everyone, as performance times draw nearer.

Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?

I admit it:  I’m a history geek.  I come from a relatively new town, but now that I’m living in New York, I lie in bed at night imagining who might have lived in my apartment 100 years ago.  I feel personally drawn to the human story behind the legend of Irving Berlin.  As musicians and performers, we are all trying to succeed in New York, and things were just the same in Berlin’s time.

I hope the audience walks away with a catchy song that won’t stop running through their head, and an appreciation for the rich history behind this city.

Karen Asks: That’s some title.  How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?

The title of my show is pretty self-explanatory.  I’d love to come up with a snappy response to this question, but the show is about the early life of Berlin, and his early music.  No crazy surprises!

Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show.  What makes it your favorite?

The music.  Berlin wrote brilliant music, and the lyrics are hilarious.  My favorite is ‘Don’t Take Your Beau to the Seashore‘.   The message was true back then, and it is even truer now!

Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?

The focus of this show is a fictional character, but everything about New York, Tin Pan Alley and Irving Berlin’s life is absolutely true.

THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on?  And what would you throw?

ONEymoon.  Because a honeymoon for one sounds just like what I need right now!  I would throw rock.  And I would win!

Thanks My Pal Izzy – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game!  You’re officially ROCK.  So you may win TWICE.  Or, not at all.  This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT!

Now let’s see . . . ONEymoon also threw ROCK. It’s a tie! A tie made from rocks. If you guys want a rematch, meet back here (virtually) and we’ll watch as you battle it out to the (mwah-hah-hah) death.

Meanwhile, for the rest of you – don’t forget to check out My Pal Izzy – The Early Life and Music of Irving Berlin

My Pal Izzy – The Early Life and Music of Irving Berlin
Written by Melanie Gall & Directed by Karen Gall
Presented by Sisterscene Productions Brooklyn, NYThe Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street) $16

Thu 2/24 @ 6pm, Fri 2/25 @ 7pm, Sun 2/27 @ 2:30pm, Wed 3/2 @ 9pm, Thu 3/3 @ 7:30pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 4pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.


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