Zipse’s “Tribute To Gershwin” Musical Returns To The Milton Theatre September 12 & 13

by Dave on August 14, 2009

“It brought back many wonderful memories while the performers made each song fresh and new…” -Greg Oliver, Royal Rose Inn B&B, Rehoboth Beach, DE

“The way he “tickles the ivories” is remarkable. The two other performers … were a real plus…” -Carolyn & Dean Marolf, Columbus, OH

Milton, DE – On Saturday, September 12 (at 8pm) and Sunday, September 13 (at 2pm), the Milton Theatre proudly welcomes back “by popular demand,” “A Tribute To Gershwin,” produced by Wilmington native, David Zipse. This year’s reprise of last year’s sold-out one night performance includes original arrangements of popular Gershwin titles in a musical review that includes song and dance, and chronicles one of America’s most popular composer’s life.

“A Tribute to Gershwin,” will feature tunes from David Zipse’s CD of the same name including excerpts from “Porgy & Bess” and the entire fourteen-minute “Rhapsody In Blue”’ that concludes the first act of the two act show.

According to the show’s producer, “The Gershwins wrote songs with beautiful melodies and clever lyrics. Many people remember George as a great composer, but few remember he was an incredible pianist and very flashy.” Zipse continued, “Always a show stopper, performing Rhapsody In Blue makes me realize this. He plays the piano in every way imaginable, even crossing his hands in several spots.”

According to Larry Pennington & David Lasher, of Rehoboth Beach, “David Zipse’s “A Tribute to Gershwin” is an absolute delight. We saw it last year and enjoyed the evening thoroughly. His rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” brought the piece to life. It was as if he was channeling Gershwin.”

David Zipse, a popular pianist/keyboardist in the Rehoboth Beach area, has appeared at various local venues, including Just In Thyme (resident musical artist for the annual Jazz Festival), Corner Cupboard Inn, 59 Lake, Partners Bistro, Dos Locos and Ovations, and has performed as musical director for many local theater shows, including starring as Gershwin in Best Of Broadway’s production of “Gershwin, By George” in 2003. According to Wilmington News Journal critic Jeff Murphy, “The show’s best asset was virtuoso Zipse at the piano, who performs – by memory – a rousing rendition of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.”

Kudos for Mr. Zipse’s work also include: musical director for “High Society” and “Little Shop Of Horrors” in Easton, MD; “big, The Musical,” and “Nunsense II” at the Covered Bridge Theater; “Anything Cole” at the Baby Grand; “Jesus Christ Superstar,” at the Delaware Children’s Theater; “Once On This Island” at the University of the Arts; and “Nunsense I” and “Nuncrackers” at the Milton Theatre. He has also been rehearsal pianist for “Charlotte’s Web,” “Wind In The Willows” and “High Notes & Starry Nights” with OperaDelaware at the Grand and “Blood Brothers” at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia.

Zipse delves into the complexity of Gershwin’s music once again with the help of Stefanie Jaye and Jason R. Cook, who add an exceptional twist to the show with show-stopping tap-dancing and wonderful solo vocals and duets. “I’m thrilled I was able to reassemble the cast,” said Zipse. “Jason had moved to Manhattan where he’s been doing dinner theater. He’s a great singer and dancer and worked well with Stefanie, who is simply amazing. Besides being a wonderful singer, she also choreographed the entire show, working up some of the famous dance routines Fred and Adele Astaire did in Gershiwn’s shows… when she and Jason tap-danced together, the audience loved it!”

Ms. Jaye has starred with Zipse in numerous musicals and has been a featured vocalist with him at the Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival. Jaye, an instructor in the fine arts for over 20 years, performs as a jazz vocalist with David Zipse, The Harry Spencer Trio and the jazz duo, Smooth Cocktail.  In 2007, she received high acclaim for her portrayal of Judy Garland in a show dedicated to Judy’s life.

Jason R. Cook is a former member of the national touring cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” His previous credits include Charley in “Charley’s Aunt,” Tony in “West Side Story,” Greg in “A Chorus Line,” and Pinocchio in the national tour of “Adventures of Pinocchio.”

Curt Stickel of Milford will also return as George Gershwin. He researched Gershwin’s life and wrote most of the script. “Having an actor portray George added a whole different dimension to the show, making it more than just a concert,” said Zipse.

Advance ticket purchases are suggested for both performances at the Milton Theatre, located at 110 Union Street in downtown Milton, Delaware. For information and tickets ($18 each), call (800) 838-3006 or (302) 684-3400, or visit For more information on David Zipse’s “A Tribute To Gershwin” CD, visit

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