It was August 19, 1918 that Irving Berlin’s Yip Yip Yaphank opened in New York City at the Century Theater.
Here’s a song from the musical. Sound familiar? That’s right–it’s a version of the song that gets stuck in my head every time I watch White Christmas. It’s beginning its loop even as I type (where’s a tambourine when you need it).
That’s not the only familiarity. You see, Irving Berlin composed and produced the musical revue whilst a recruit in the United States Army’s 152nd Depot Brigade at Camp Umpton in Yaphank, New York, during World War I. As a matter of fact, for the last show, the principal performers — marching down the aisle, off to war — were followed by the rest of the crew: men in uniform who really were marching off to war in France.
Berlin produced a similar musical revue during World War II. This is the Army ended up touring London and Europe before settling in as a fictionalized account on film.
Then there’s White Christmas — the film that without which Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas, for many. It pays subtle tribute to the musical revue, as well.
It’s a good reminder to start. Wherever you may be in the life, whatever you’ve got going, start using your gifts and talents. Chances are good, your first attempt will be less than perfect. And that’s OK. Because you never know where that first step might lead you . . .
Happy weekend, lovelies.