Jacobson stars as Fanny Brice in tribute show

Jewish singer Melissa Jacobson teams with singers John Lariviere and Jon Zimmerman in the cabaret show "You Made Me Love You," a tribute to singers Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson now through Sept. 14 at The Plaza Theatre in Manalapan.

The show was first performed in 2010 with the same cast on tour throughout Florida and again in 2013 at the Plaza Theatre.

"Once we announced that the show would be performed in September, ticket sales were robust. The show is a memorable tribute to three legendary entertainment icons from the twentieth century," said Alan Jacobson, artistic director of The Plaza Theatre, who is also Melissa Jacobson's husband.

"I look forward to bringing back fond memories of the many songs, anecdotes and humor that Fanny Brice was known for. I will be singing 'My Man', 'Second Hand Rose,' among other songs that she made famous," said Jacobson.

Jacobson is a veteran of cabaret shows saluting entertainers. She has performed in past shows at The Plaza Theatre in tribute to Judy Garland, Carole King, Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand and played the lead character this past season in the musical "Rags."

The two-act 90 minute show will feature more than thirty songs from the three icons, such as "Swanee" and "You Made Me Love You" (Jolson) and "If You Knew Susie" and "Making Whoopee" (Cantor).

Brice, Cantor and Jolson all made their debuts in show business in vaudeville in the early part of the twentieth century. Brice went on to star in "The Ziegfeld Follies" and on radio and television in the "Baby Snooks" series. After Brice's death, Barbra Streisand portrayed Brice in the film and Broadway musical "Funny Girl."

Jolson was the son of a cantor and starred in the first sound move "The Jazz Singer" (1927).

Cantor was known for his comic acting as well as his songs starring in many films throughout the 1930s.

In addition to her acting, Melissa Jacobson heads the Plaza Theatre Conservatory, teaching music, dance and public speaking to her students.

"Over the summer months, it is exciting to have many young performers get their chance to act, dance and sing in many productions," said Jacobson.

Both Alan and Melissa Jacobson have been in theater since graduating from university thirty years ago. Melissa appeared and sang in many cabaret shows and off Broadway musicals in New York, while Alan wrote, directed and ran several theater companies.

One of their favorite projects was creating the Florida Jewish Theatre company, featuring comedies, dramas and musical Jewish themes, when it operated at the West Palm Beach Jewish Community Center in the 1990s.

"We were very proud of a lot of the innovative Jewish plays we had, such as the comedy 'The Convertible Girl' among many others. Staging again 'You Made Me Love You' shows that there is a large audience that has never forgotten the great Jewish entertainers, even if many in our audience were too young to see them," said Melissa Jacobson.

Alan and Melissa Jacobson live in Palm Beach Gardens with sons Eli and Noah, who are aspiring actors.

Melissa Jacobson stars in "You Made Me Love You," a tribute to Jewish singers Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson now through Sept. 14 at The Plaza Theatre, 262 South Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan. For tickets and show times, call 561-588-1820 or go to

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