A whole lotta love | SummitDaily.com

A whole lotta love

BRECKENRIDGE – Some people tuck their love escapades safely into the pages of a journal. George Gershwin set his to music.

“His songs were virtually a diary of his life,” said Catherine Charlton, a soprano who sings a collection of Gershwin tunes with three other vocalists and a trio of Breckenridge Music Institute (BMI) musicians tonight.

The cabaret features Charlton, mezzo-soprano Lucille Beer, tenor Timothy Sparks, baritone Evan Rogister and a trio (piano, bass and drums) of BMI musicians.

“Part of the reason we chose Gershwin is because his music is accessible to all people – whether you like musical theater, song stylists like Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr., or opera,” Charlton said. “It’s just standard classic songs and quintessentially American music.”

Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 26, 1898. He began his musical training when he was 13. By the time he turned 15, he had left high school to work as a pianist and song-plugger for musical publishers. Soon after, he began writing songs.

Gershwin and his older brother, Ira, became the dominant Broadway songwriters during the 1920s, as they created a ceaseless flow of brisk, infectious rhythms and poignant ballads.

Throughout the decades, numerous films and award-winning stage productions have featured Gershwin songs, including “My One and Only” in 1983 and “Crazy for You” in 1992. In fact, singers perform his music with greater frequency than Gershwin saw in his lifetime.

“People from all musical styles have sung Gershwin’s music,” Charlton said. “He was clearly a musical genius. (I read) he used to drive his piano teacher crazy because he went in his own direction. He couldn’t escape what was in his mind and in his heart.”

The cabaret includes tunes Gershwin wrote between 1922 and 1939. He wrote most of the songs for shows, and most of them revolved around love. The BMI performs five songs from “Porgy and Bess,” as well as “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Man I Love” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

The cabaret begins at 7:30 p.m. today at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Cabaret-style seating near the stage is $22, and regular theater seating is $17. Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center box office or by calling (970) 547-3100.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

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