A holiday season never goes by without endless movie screenings of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” which first hit the silver screen in 1954 starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. And exactly 50 years later, that tradition continued on tour once it was turned into a glossy Broadway musical that’s since earned Tony Award nominations for “Best Choreography” and “Best Orchestrations.”
“White Christmas” may have some predictable parts and an inevitable snowfall, but this good old fashioned musical hearkens back to simpler, safer times, all while upholding its foolproof plan to transport theatergoers into the seasonal spirit.
At the moment, it’s spending Thanksgiving week through early December at the gorgeous Cadillac Palace Theatre, packing all the major brassy musical numbers, tons of tap dancing, plus a highly capable cast including Sean Montgomery as Bob Wallace, Jeremy Benton as Phil Davis, Kerry Conte as Betty Haynes and Kelly Sheehan as Judy Haynes. Though the leading foursome doesn’t immediately get connected as couples when they meet at a club, there’s a noticeable chemistry brewing between the Army buddies turned established Broadway stars and those ladies seeking showbiz glory.
But with trains leaving respectively for Florida and Vermont the following morning, it doesn’t seem as though they’ll be enough time for any romance to brew, that is until one of the guys mischievously switches the train tickets and forces the other’s thoughts from the sunny south towards the snowy north. However, this particular season winds up being unlike any other when a heatwave overtakes the typical winter wonderland and causes a complete shut down of the ski lodge where the Haynes sisters were scheduled to perform.
Just as all four entertainers are plotting their next move, they find out the inn is owned by none other than the fellas’ old commanding officer General Waverly (Conrad John Schuck), so they naturally stick around, come up with a zany idea to save him from financial disaster and even attempt to reunite all the old troops. The plot all sounds perfect on paper, but as more cooks get into the figurative kitchen, confusion mounts and nearly stops the massive undertaking dead in its tracks until all of the misunderstood details get ironed out.
Throughout it all, the soundtrack beams with the cozy nostalgia of “Happy Holiday,” the peaceful “Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep),” the comical “Sisters” (performed by both the women and men), the dance spectacle “I Love A Piano,” and of course, “White Christmas.” It may have some predictable parts and an inevitable snowfall, but this good old fashioned musical hearkens back to simpler, safer times, all while upholding its foolproof plan to transport theatergoers into the seasonal spirit.