White Christmas (musical)

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White Christmas
White Christmas (musical).jpg
MusicIrving Berlin
LyricsIrving Berlin
BookDavid Ives and Paul Blake
BasisMusical film White Christmas by the same composer
PremiereJuly 17, 2000: The Muny, St. Louis
Productions2000 The Muny
2004 US National Tour
2007 UK Tour
2008 Broadway
2009 US National Tour
2009 Broadway revival
2009 Victorian Premiere
2014 West End
2016 US National Tour

White Christmas is a musical based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film of the same name. The book is by David Ives and Paul Blake, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. The original St. Louis production starred Lara Teeter, Karen Mason, Lauren Kennedy, and Lee Roy Reams, and the 2004 San Francisco production starred Brian D'Arcy James, Anastasia Barzee, Meredith Patterson, and Jeffry Denman.

Production history[edit]

Regional productions[edit]

The musical, titled Irving Berlin's White Christmas, premiered in St. Louis in 2000 at The Muny,[1] after which it opened in San Francisco in 2004.[2] It has since played in various venues in the US and Canada, such as Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Detroit, Denver, St. Paul, and Louisville.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

UK tour (2006–2011)[edit]

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.[9] 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 played from November 2010 until January 2011 at the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Tom Chambers, Adam Cooper, Rachel Stanley, Louise Bowden, Ken Kercheval and Kerry Washington starred in the show. All of the UK tours featured the original choreography of Randy Skinner.

Broadway 2008-09 and U.S. tour[edit]

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.[10][11][12]

Australian/Victorian premiere 2009 performance[edit]

The musical was performed by MLOC Productions Inc [13] at the Phoenix Theatre in Elwood, Victoria. This was an all new restaging, directed by Judy Sullivan. Musical direction was by Geoff Earle (assisted by Jack Earle) and choreography was by Merilyn Young. The cast featured Peter Phillips as Bob Wallace, cabaret performer John Davidson as Phil Davis, Rowena Brown as Betty Haynes, and Kate Knight as Judy Haynes. It featured Simon Fitzgerald as General Waverly, Sally Fleming as Martha Watson, Olivia Seerup as Susan Waverly and David Higgins as Ralph Sheldrake. It started its run on 6 November, running through 14 November, and had a second season from 18 to 20 December.[14]

2009 Broadway revival[edit]

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.[15] This production also had a U.S. national tour, starting in Omaha, Nebraska on November 1, 2009 and ending in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 5, 2010.[16][17]

2014 West End production[edit]

The musical played the Dominion Theatre in a limited engagement and starred Aled Jones, Tom Chambers, Rachel Stanley, Louise Bowden, and Wendi Peters. Randy Skinner's original Broadway choreography was re-created for the West End production.

2014-2015 U.S. tour[edit]

White Christmas toured the United States over the Christmas seasons of 2014-2015, starting in previews on November 11, 2014 running through January 4, 2015. The production was directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner. The cast featured Jeremy Benton, James Clow, Kaitlyn Davidson, Trista Moldovan, Cliff Bemis, Danny Gardner, Pamela Myers, Ryan Reilly, Conrad John Schuck, Elizabeth Crawford and Ava Della Pietra.[18]

2013 US tour[edit]

The 2013 White Christmas national tour - directed by Norb Joerder and choreographed by Randy Skinner - opened on November 2, 2013 and closed on December 29, 2013, playing venues throughout the country in Springfield, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fayetteville, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Des Moines, and Dallas. The cast featured James Clow, Trista Moldovan, David Elder, Meredith Patterson, Ruth Williamson, Joseph Costa, Cliff Bemis, Cory Bretsch, Shannon Harrington, Tony Lawson, and Grace Matwijec.[19]

2012-2014 U.S. tour[edit]

The 2012 White Christmas tour - directed by Norb Joerder and choreographed by Randy Skinner - opened on November 11, 2012 and closed on January 6, 2013 playing cities including Hershey, Nashville, Columbus, Dayton, Buffalo, and ended with a month-long run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The cast included James Clow, Stefanie Morse, David Elder, Mara Davi, Ruth Williamson, Joseph Costa, Cliff Bemis, Shannon Harrington, Tony Lawson, Andie Mechanic, and Kilty Reidy.[20]

2016-2018 U.S. Tour[edit]

From 2016 to 2018, the U.S. tour was both directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner. The same actors completed the cast each year, with exception of the role of Susan, with Sean Montgomery as Bob, Jeremy Benton as Phil, Kerry Conte as Betty, Kelly Sheehan as Judy, Conrad John Schuck as General Waverly, Karen Ziemba as Martha, Brad Frenette as Ralph Sheldrake, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Mike Nulty, and Cliff Bemis as Ezekiel Foster. For 2016, Clancy Penny and Samantha Penny portrayed Susan; Makayla Joy Connolly and Bella Yantist played her in 2017; Emma Grace Berardelli and Kyla Carter played Susan in 2018. In 2016, star Lorna Luft played Martha Watson[21].

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."[22] Nevertheless, the show 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).[23]

Song list[edit]

Principal roles and Broadway original cast[edit]

  • Bob Wallace – Stephen Bogardus (role originated in world premiere by Lara Teeter)
  • Phil Davis – Jeffry Denman (role originated in world premiere by Lee Roy Reams)
  • Betty Haynes – Kerry O'Malley (role originated in world premiere by Karen Mason)
  • Judy Haynes – Meredith Patterson (role originated in world premiere by Lauren Kennedy)
  • Ezekiel Foster/Mr. Snoring Man/Quintet Member – Cliff Bemis
  • Mike Nulty/Ed Sullivan Announcer/Regency Room Announcer – Sheffield Chastain
  • General Henry Waverly – Charles Dean (role originated in world premiere by Howard Keel)
  • Susan Waverly – Melody Hollis
  • Martha Watson – Susan Mansur
  • Ralph Sheldrake – Peter Reardon


  1. ^ Muny Show Archives [1], muny.org, May 25, 2016
  2. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Merry and Bright? Producers Hope White Christmas Will Play Broadway This Year", playbill.com, June 25, 2008
  3. ^ Jones, Kenneth."White Christmas Will Make Broadway Debut in November, Playing to Early 2009" playbill.com August 4, 2008
  4. ^ Review of San Francisco production talkingbroadway.com November 14, 2004
  5. ^ Byrne, Terry. Review of Boston production The Boston Globe November 30, 2007
  6. ^ Snow in L.A.! Irving Berlin's White Christmas Begins Nov. 22 in City of Angels playbill.com November 22, 2005
  7. ^ "Berlin musical comes to life 'White Christmas' stays true to form" Louisville Courier-Journal, November 15, 2008
  8. ^ [2] theatrelouisville.org
  9. ^ thisistheatre listing thisistheatre.com
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway's White Christmas Will Star Bogardus, O'Malley, Denman and Patterson", playbill.com, September 3, 2008
  11. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. Photo Call: White Christmas Comes to Times Square", playbill.com, October 7, 2008
  12. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. Photo Call: Snow Falls on Broadway in White Christmas", playbill.com, November 21, 2008
  13. ^ MLOC Productions
  14. ^ Irving Berlin's White Christmas - MLOC Stage Production-Victorian Premiere mloc.org.au
  15. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Williamson, Ogden Stiers, Errico, Yazbeck Will Be Merry and Bright in Broadway's White Christmas", playbill.com, September 29, 2009
  16. ^ BWW News Desk. "Irving Berlin's White Christmas Returns to Broadway, Previews Begin at The Marquis Theatre", broadwayworld.com, accessed September 30, 2009
  17. ^ Official site, whitechristmasthemusical.com, accessed September 30, 2009
  18. ^ League, The Broadway. "Irving Berlin's White Christmas | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew. "James Clow, David Elder, Trista Moldovan, Meredith Patterson Set for Tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas". Playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  20. ^ Michael, Gioia. "White Christmas, With James Clow, Stefanie Morse, David Elder, Mara Davi, Opens Dec. 13 at the Kennedy Center". Playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Irving Berlin's White Christmas – Broadway Musical – 2016 Tour | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  22. ^ Just Like the Ones You Used to Know: Song, Dance and Fluffy White Endings
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew.Drama Desk Nominees Announced; 9 to 5 Garners Record-Breaking 15 Noms", April 27, 2009

External links[edit]