Inside Broadway brings original musical on American immigrant experience to Queens public schools

Photo courtesy of Elena Olivo

The popular after-school arts program Inside Broadway is coming to several Queens public schools this month, including P.S. 119 in Glendale, with a special musical highlighting the American immigrant experience.

Inside Broadway has teamed up with the Irving Berlin Family to bring “Land That I Love,” an original musical specifically produced for over 60 NYC public schools, to thousands of New York City students since it started touring in January. And, due to popular demand, the show has extended its performance schedule into mid-May.

The Queens schools where “Land That I Love” will be performed are as follows:

  • P.S. 193, located at 152-20 11th Ave. in Whitestone, on Thursday, April 6, at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in conjunction with Councilman Paul Vallone’s office;
  • P.S. 234, located at 30-15 29th St. in Astoria, on Friday, April 7, at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in conjunction with Councilman Costa Constantinides’ office; and
  • P.S. 119, located at 74-01 78th Ave. in Glendale, on Wednesday, April 19, at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in conjunction with Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s office.

The musical tells the story of three young immigrants who come to America and face the struggles of surviving in New York City. The spirit of Irving Berlin, who was also an immigrant, acts as their guide as they go around exploring the city and their new way of life. The show is a celebration of the country’s diversity and American pride. The songs included in the musical truly showcase the overall themes and are “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “How Deep is the Ocean,” “Miss Liberty,” “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,” and “God Bless America.”

“One of the joys of being a producer is the opportunity to revive a special show from our company’s past. This year, the 35th anniversary of Inside Broadway, we decided it would be important and appropriate to revive our original musical ‘Land That I Love,’” said Michael Presser, executive director of Inside Broadway. “This show, with the music of the great Irving Berlin, was an original project that we developed in close cooperation with the Berlin family. We last revived the show in the months following 9/11 when it proved to be a big hit with the schools. The current revival comes as our city and country begin a discussion of the role that immigrants play in America. We hope that the story of these three young immigrants who are learning to be Americans can again inspire our school students and that the music of Irving Berlin, a proud immigrant himself, will again be introduced to a new generation.”

“Land That I Love” features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, and book by four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin of “Aladdin,” “The Wedding Singer,” and “Elf the Musical.”

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