The Melody Lingers On

Musical Revue / Cabaret, Dramatic Comedy  /  5w, 5m

Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin

Dialogue taken from the book by Mary Ellin Barrett
Script Continuity by Tom Briggs
Orchestrations and Vocal Arrangements by Donald Johnston
Conceived by Karin Baker

A biographical revue of Irving Berlin as remembered by his daughter.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 5m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Biography, Period
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences



“It is all history now – ancient history. The celebrated romance of the Catholic golden girl, born to millions, and the immigrant cantor's son from the Lower East Side.” So writes Mary Ellin Barrett in her biography Irving Berlin: A Daughter's Memoir, on which this biographical revue is based.

In a life that spanned more than 100 years, and with a creative output of over 1,000 songs, Irving Berlin epitomized Jerome Kern's famous adage that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American music.” Over a period of five decades, Berlin's outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs defined American popular music. This revue was developed at the distinguished Trinity School in New York City and introduced hundreds of high school kids to the work of a man whose name was only familiar to some as the composer of “God Bless America.” As this new generation learned the story of the Russian Immigrant who started as a singing waiter at a saloon on the Bowery, they became increasingly exhilarated with the discovery of each new song. They also found in Berlin's marriage a compelling, contemporary love story. From Tin Pan Alley to Broadway, from Hollywood to tours of duty throughout Europe and the Pacific, the story of Irving Berlin is the story of this American century.

5 Women
5 Men

A Singing-dancing ensemble may be incorporated as desired; while the premiere production featured a cast of more than 70, a subsequent production with a cast of only 10 was no less effective.

Mark - Consistently plays the role of Irving Berlin, among others.
Juliet - Consistently plays the role of Ellin Mackay, among others.
  • Time Period 1960s, 1950s, 1940s / WWII, 1930s, 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910
  • Setting A unit set. May include a screen for projections.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


“A wonderfully entertaining ride... The power of Irving Berlin's genius is thrilling!” – The Blowing Rock Rocket

“The show is part show biz nostalgia, part history of New York, and wholly enjoyable... The script is swift and smart, and full of sentimental sentiments.” – Elias Stimac

“A hugely enjoyable evening. Memorable stuff!” – Richard Dunn

“A wonderfully entertaining ride that one minute has you laughing out loud, and the next minute is tugging at your heartstrings. The power of Irving Berlin's genius is thrilling!” – The Blowing Rock Rocket


  • The Melody Lingers On youtube thumbnail

    The Melody Lingers On


1. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” – Mark and the Company
2. “What’ll I Do?” – Mark and Juliet
3. “I Love A Piano” – Mark, Jeffrey and the Company
4. “Everybody’s Doin’ It Now” – Kathy, Bambi and Jessica
5. “The Girl On The Magazine Cover” – Kevin
6. “Snookey Ookums” – Jennifer and Jeremy
7. “When I Lost You” – Mark
8. “Play A Simple Melody” – Jessica and Steve
9. “Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning” – Jeremy
10. “You’d Be Surprised” – Kathy
11. “A Pretty Girl Like Melody” – Kevin and the Men
12. “When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam”‘ – Bambi and the Company
13. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” – The Company
14. “What’ll I Do? (Reprise)” – Juliet
15. “Remember” – Mark
16. “How Deep Is The Ocean?” – Juliet, Mark and the Company
17. “Always” – Juliet, Mark and the Company
18. “Blue Skies” – Jessica, Juliet, Bambi and Steve
19. “Shaking The Blues Away” – Steve, Jennifer and the Ladies
20. “Finale Act I” – Mark and the Company
21. “Marie” – Steve and the Company
22. “Say It Isn’t So” – Kevin and the Company
23. “Heat Wave” – Jessica, Bambi, Jennifer, Kathy, Jeremy, Kevin and Jeffrey
24. “Supper Time” – Bambi
25. “Easter Parade” – Juliet With Mark, Steve, Jeremy and Kevin
26. “Cheek To Cheek” – Jeffrey With Jessica, Bambi, Kathy and Jennifer
27. “Change Partners” – Kevin
28. “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” – Steve, Bambi and the Company
29. “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” – Mark and Juliet
30. “Let Yourself Go” – Jennifer, Jeremy and the Company
31. “Let Me Sing And I’m Happy” – Jeffrey, Kevin, Steve and Jeremy
32. “All Alone” – Juliet
33. “Count Your Blessing Instead Of Sheep” – Mark and Juliet With Kathy, Bambi and Jessica
34. “White Christmas” – Mark and Kevin
35. “This Is The Army Mr. Jones” – Jeffrey, Steve and Jeremy
36. “I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep” – Mark and the Men
37. “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” – Bambi and Steve With Jessica, Kathy, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Jeremy and Kevin
38. “God Bless America” – The Company
39. “It’s A Lovely Day Today” – Kathy
40. “You’re Just In Love” – Jeremy and Kathy
41. “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” – Jennifer and the Ladies
42. “The Girl That I Marry” – The Men
43. “I Got The Sun In The Morning” – Jessica and Kevin
44. “They Say It’s Wonderful” – Juliet, Mark and the Company
45. “There’s No Business Like Show Business” – The Company
46. “The Song Is Ended” – The Company

Reed (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax)
Trombone (With F Attachment)
Bass (Acoustic)
Percussion (Trap Set, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Woodblocks, Bell Tree, Mark Tree, Wind Chimes, 2 Triangles, Optional Timpani, Ratchet, Cowbell)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size Small

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
15 Libretto-Vocal
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
1 Violin
1 Bass
1 Digital Logo
15 Libretto-Vocal
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Digital Logo


Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!


Irving Berlin

With a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasts over 1,000 songs, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) epitomized Jerome Kern’s famous maxim that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” Berlin wrote scores to 13 Broadway musicals, ...

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Mary Ellin Barrett

Author, journalist and editor Mary Ellin Barrett (1926-2022) was born and raised in New York City. The oldest of three daughters of Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay Berlin, she attended the Brearley School and received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College.

Starting her car ...

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Tom Briggs

Director of The R&H Theater Library (precursor to R&H Theatricals) for over a dozen years, Tom Briggs began his love affair with R&H as a youngster in Wisconsin, appearing in productions of Oklahoma! South Pacific and Carousel. His years as a young adult found him singing an ...

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Donald Johnston

Donald Johnston (1944-2001) was music director and/or arranger on more than a dozen Broadway shows, including Tony Award winners 42nd Street and Nicholas Nickelby. He also wrote arrangements and orchestrations for productions at the Goodspeed Opera House and for Entirely Soph ...
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Karin Baker

Karin Baker has performed with the Pacific Ballet, on The Carol Burnett Show, and, most notably, on Broadway, where her dancing feet have been heard in Goerge M! (1968), starring Joel Grey, and in Coco (1969), starring the legendary Katherine Hepburn. When Gower Champion died ...

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