What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow (2022-23)

Inventing America, Part 1 - The Songs of Irving Berlin: An American Voice for Popular Music with commentator and pianist Rob Kapilow and vocalist Michael Winther
GBH - Calderwood - Calderwood Studio at GBH

In the first performance of this two-part series, Inventing America, Rob Kapilow peels away the layers of composer Irving Berlin’s iconic American songs. The program features unforgettable favorites, including “Cheek to Cheek,” “Puttin' on the Ritz,” “You’re Just in Love,” and many more. It’s a must-see event for anyone who enjoys Broadway, Hollywood musicals, and the American songbook, but the truth is, with Rob Kapilow at the helm, you’ll end up a fan of whatever subject he presents. 

Well-known for unraveling classical music and iconic songs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Rob Kapilow shares the joy and wonder of learning how to become an active listener of music. By showing what gives the work of brilliant composers that extra special “something,” Kapilow creates memorable moments of connection for concertgoers of all levels of musical engagement.  

Rob's a Celebrity Series audience favorite for good reason. If you know, you know; if you don’t, make sure to check out this What Makes It Great? performance!

Joining Rob are vocalists Michael Winther and Ashley Blanchet. Michael Winther makes his seventh appearance since the 2003/04 season alongside Rob Kapilow in a What Makes it Great? program. Broadway and American Songbook composers featured in his previous engagements include Leonard Bernstein (in a West Side Story program), Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter (twice, most recently in 2020's online-only Celebrity Series at Home presentation). Mr. Winther presented songs by Irving Berlin alongside Kapilow in 2019's popular What Makes it Great? "Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas" holiday program.

Ashley Blanchet makes her Celebrity Series debut with this engagement. Ms. Blanchet appeared on Broadway and on the first national tour as Little Eva in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and she has extensive regional credits at Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Kurt Weill Award in Performance from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.


The What Makes It Great? - Inventing America series continues in February 2023, with Copland’s Appalachian Spring: An American Voice for Classical Music, featuring Boston’s own A Far Cry chamber orchestra.

This in-person performance has critically low availability, and is unavailable to purchase at this time. However, you can watch the on-demand recording from November 22-November 28, starting at $20!

Featured Artist

GBH Calderwood Studio Information

This performance is generously sponsored by
Amy & Joshua Boger.

This performance is made possible in part by support from Celebrity Series' LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Innovation Funds.