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White Christmas (musical)

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.

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
2014 West End
2016–2018 US National Tour

Production historyEdit

Regional productionsEdit

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. tourEdit

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 productionEdit

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 West End productionEdit

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.

2012–2018 U.S. toursEdit

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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

From 2016 to 2018, another U.S. tour was directed and choreographed by Skinner. The same actors completed the cast each year, with exception of the role of Susan, with Sean Montgomery as Bob, 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, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Mike, and Bemis as Ezekiel. Susan was played in 2016 by Clancy Penny and Samantha Penny, in 2017 by Bella Yantist, and in 2018 by Emma Grace Berardelli and Kyla Carter. In 2016 Luft played Martha.[21]

2019 West End productionEdit

After a tryout in 2018–2019 at Curve Theatre, Leicester, UK, a 2019 West End revival opens at the Dominion Theatre in London for a limited engagement at the end of 2019.[citation needed] It features new choreography by Stephen Mear and stars Nikolai Foster with Danny Mac as Bob and Dan Burton as Phil.[citation needed]

Critical response and awardsEdit

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 listEdit

Principal roles and Broadway original castEdit

  • 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

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ League, The Broadway. "Irving Berlin's White Christmas | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  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 linksEdit