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
2014 West End revival
2016–2018 US National Tour
2019 West End revival

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.



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 over the Christmas seasons of 2006–07 (to Plymouth and Southampton) and 2007–08 (to Edinburgh and Cardiff). The cast for the tour included Craig McLachlan as Bob, Tim Flavin as Phil, Rachel as Betty, Emma Kate Nelson as Judy, 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, starring Tom Chambers, Cooper, Stanley, Louise Bowden, Ken Kercheval and Kerry Washington. 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 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]

The musical returned to 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 Mara Davi as Judy , Melissa Errico as Betty Tony Yazbeck as Phil, David Ogden Stiers as General Waverly and Ruth Williamson as Martha [13] 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.[14][15]

2009 Australia[edit]

The musical was staged anew by MLOC Productions Inc [16] at the Phoenix Theatre in Elwood, Victoria. The production was directed by Judy Sullivan, with choreography was by Merilyn Young. The cast featured Peter Phillips as Bob, John Davidson as Phil, Rowena Brown as Betty, and Kate Knight as Judy. It started its run on 6 November 2009, running through 14 November, and had a second run from 18 to 20 December.[17]

2014 and 2019 West End[edit]

The musical played the Dominion Theatre in 2014 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.[18]

After a tryout in 2018–2019 at Curve Theatre, Leicester, UK, a 2019 West End revival opened at the Dominion Theatre in London on 15 November 2019 and closed on 4 January 2020. It was directed by Nikolai Foster with new choreography by Stephen Mear. The cast included Danny Mac as Bob, Dan Burton as Phil, Clare Halse as Judy, Danielle Hope as Betty and Brenda Edwards as Martha.[19]

2007–2019 U.S. tours[edit]

From 2007 to 2019 (except 2008), brief tours were conducted each November and December (and sometimes running into the first week of the following January.[20]

The 2012 White Christmas tour, directed by Norb Joerder and choreographed by Skinner, opened on November 11, 2012 and closed on January 6, 2013 after 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.[21] Another tour the following year, also directed by Joerder and choreographed by Skinner, opened on November 2, 2013 and closed on December 29, 2013. The cast featured Clow, Trista Moldovan, David Elder, Patterson, Williamson, Costa, Bemis, Cory Bretsch, Harrington, Lawson, and Grace Matwijec.[22] Another U.S tour over the Christmas season of 2014–2015, started in previews on November 11, 2014 running through January 4, 2015. The production was directed and choreographed by Skinner. The cast featured Jeremy Benton, Clow, Kaitlyn Davidson, Moldovan, Bemis, Danny Gardner, Pamela Myers, Ryan Reilly, Conrad John Schuck, Elizabeth Crawford and Ava Della Pietra.[23]

The 2016–2019 tours were directed and choreographed by Skinner, with Sean Montgomery as Bob, Benton as Phil, Kerry Conte as Betty, Kelly Sheehan as Judy, and Karen Ziemba as Martha. The tour closed in Boston at the Wang Center on December 29, 2019.[24]

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."[25] 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).[26]

Musical numbers[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. ^ White Christmas, Thisistheatre.com
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway's White Christmas Will Star Bogardus, O'Malley, Denman and Patterson", Playbill, 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, November 21, 2008
  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. ^ MLOC Productions
  17. ^ Irving Berlin's White Christmas - MLOC Stage Production-Victorian Premiere mloc.org.au
  18. ^ Taylor, Paul. "White Christmas, theatre review: Aled Jones and Tom Chambers are merry but the chemistry isn't quite right", The Independent, 14 November 2014
  19. ^ "West End theatre opens its doors to the festive season", London Live, 13 November 2019; and Wood, Alex. "White Christmas in the West End full cast to include Michael Brandon, Brenda Edwards, Danielle Hope and Clare Halse", WhatsOnStage, 18 September 2019
  20. ^ "Irving Berlin's White Christmas". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Michael, Gioia. "White Christmas, With James Clow, Stefanie Morse, David Elder, Mara Davi, Opens Dec. 13 at the Kennedy Center". Playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew. "James Clow, David Elder, Trista Moldovan, Patterson Set for Tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas". Playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Irving Berlin's White Christmas". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  24. ^ "Irving Berlin's White Christmas – Broadway Musical – 2016 Tour". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  25. ^ Just Like the Ones You Used to Know: Song, Dance and Fluffy White Endings
  26. ^ Gans, Andrew.Drama Desk Nominees Announced; 9 to 5 Garners Record-Breaking 15 Noms", April 27, 2009

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