White Christmas (musical)

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White Christmas
White Christmas (musical).jpg
Music Irving Berlin
Lyrics Irving Berlin
Book David Ives and Paul Blake
Basis Musical film White Christmas by the same composer
Productions 2004 US National Tour
2007 UK Tour
2008 Broadway
2009 US National Tour
2009 Broadway revival
2009 Victorian Premiere
2014 West End

White Christmas is a musical based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film of the same name. The libretto is by David Ives and Paul Blake, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. The original production starred Brian D'Arcy James, Anastasia Barzee, Meredith Patterson, and Jeffry Denman.

Production history[edit]

Regional productions

The musical, titled Irving Berlin's White Christmas premiered in San Francisco in 2004[1] and has played in various venues in the US and Canada, such as Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Detroit, Denver, and Louisville.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

UK tour (2006–2011)

The musical toured the United Kingdom over the Christmas seasons of 2006-07 (Plymouth and Southampton) and 2007-08 (Edinburgh and Cardiff). The cast for the tour included Craig McLachlan as Bob Wallace, Tim Flavin as Phil Davis, Rachel Stanley as Betty Haynes, Emma Kate Nelson as Judy Haynes, Ken Kercheval as The General and Lorna Luft as Martha.[8] The same production reappeared at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth in November 2009, before transferring to The Lowry, Manchester for Christmas and into early 2010. Aled Jones, Suzanne Shaw, Adam Cooper, Louise Plowright, Rachel Stanley and Roy Dotrice starred. The same production will play from November 2010 until January 2011 at the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Tom Chambers, Adam Cooper, Rachel Stanley, Louise Bowden, Ken Kercheval and Kerry Washington currently star in the show.

Broadway 2008-09 and US tour

White Christmas played a limited engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, which started in previews on November 14, 2008 running through January 4, 2009, for 53 performances and 12 previews. The production was directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Randy Skinner. The cast featured Stephen Bogardus, Kerry O'Malley, Jeffry Denman, Meredith Patterson, Susan Mansur and Charles Dean, all of whom had performed in regional productions.[9][10][11]

Australian/Victorian Premiere 2009 performance

The Musical was performed by MLOC Productions Inc (www.mloc.org.au), at the Phoenix Theatre in Elwood, Victoria. An all new restaging, Directed by Judy Sullivan and Musical Direction by Geoff Earle (assisted by Jack Earle) with Choreography by Merilyn Young. The Cast will feature Peter Phillips as Bob Wallace, cabaret performer John Davidson as Phil Davis, Rowena Brown as Betty Haynes and Kate Knight as Judy Haynes. Featuring Simon Fitzgerald as General Waverly, Sally Fleming as Martha Watson, Olivia Seerup as Susan Waverly and David Higgins as Ralph Sheldrake. It's due to start its run on the 6th of November till the 14th and a second season from the 18th till the 20th of December.[12]

2009 Broadway Revival

The musical returned to Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, in a limited engagement running from November 13, 2009 (previews) through January 3, 2010. Bobbie and Skinner again directed and choreographed. The cast featured James Clow as Bob Wallace, Mara Davi as Judy Haynes, Melissa Errico as Betty Haynes, Tony Yazbeck as Phil, David Ogden Stiers as General Henry Waverly and Ruth Williamson as Martha Watson.[13] This production will also have a U.S. national tour, starting in Omaha, Nebraska on November 1, 2009 and ending in Kansas City, Missouri (January 5, 2010).[14][15]

Critical response and awards[edit]

Critics of the Broadway production were unimpressed, including Charles Isherwood of The New York Times who wrote that the show was as "fresh and appealing as a roll of Necco wafers found in a mothballed Christmas stocking."[16] Nevertheless, it received two 2009 Tony Award nominations for Best Choreography (Randy Skinner) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Blank). It also received 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations for Walter Bobbie, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Orchestrations, Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (Anna Louizos), Outstanding Costume Design (Carrie Robbins), and Outstanding Sound Design (Acme Sound Partners).[17]

Song list[edit]

Principal roles and Broadway original cast[edit]

  • Bob Wallace – Stephen Bogardus (Role originated in world premiere by Brian d'Arcy James)
  • Phil Davis – Jeffry Denman
  • Betty Haynes – Kerry O'Malley (Role originated in world premiere by Anastasia Barzee)
  • Judy Haynes – Meredith Patterson
  • Ezekiel Foster/Mr. Snoring Man/Quintet Member – Cliff Bemis
  • Mike Nulty/Ed Sullivan Announcer/Regency Room Announcer – Sheffield Chastain
  • General Henry Waverly – Charles Dean
  • Susan Waverly – Melody Hollis
  • Martha Watson – Susan Mansur
  • Ralph Sheldrake – Peter Reardon

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Merry and Bright? Producers Hope White Christmas Will Play Broadway This Year", playbill.com, June 25, 2008
  2. ^ Jones, Kenneth."White Christmas Will Make Broadway Debut in November, Playing to Early 2009" playbill.com August 4, 2008
  3. ^ Review of San Francisco production talkingbroadway.com November 14, 2004
  4. ^ Byrne, Terry. Review of Boston production The Boston Globe November 30, 2007
  5. ^ Snow in L.A.! Irving Berlin's White Christmas Begins Nov. 22 in City of Angels playbill.com November 22, 2005
  6. ^ "Berlin musical comes to life 'White Christmas' stays true to form" Louisville Courier-Journal, November 15, 2008
  7. ^ [1] theatrelouisville.org
  8. ^ thisistheatre listing thisistheatre.com
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway's White Christmas Will Star Bogardus, O'Malley, Denman and Patterson", playbill.com, September 3, 2008
  10. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. Photo Call: White Christmas Comes to Times Square", playbill.com, October 7, 2008
  11. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. Photo Call: Snow Falls on Broadway in White Christmas", playbill.com, November 21, 2008
  12. ^ Irving Berlin's White Christmas - MLOC Stage Production-Victorian Premiere mloc.org.au
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Williamson, Ogden Stiers, Errico, Yazbeck Will Be Merry and Bright in Broadway's White Christmas", playbill.com, September 29, 2009
  14. ^ BWW News Desk. "Irving Berlin's White Christmas Returns to Broadway, Previews Begin at The Marquis Theatre", broadwayworld.com, accessed September 30, 2009
  15. ^ Official site, whitechristmasthemusical.com, accessed September 30, 2009
  16. ^ Just Like the Ones You Used to Know: Song, Dance and Fluffy White Endings
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew.Drama Desk Nominees Announced; 9 to 5 Garners Record-Breaking 15 Noms", April 27, 2009

External links[edit]