White Christmas | The Fabulous Fox Theatre

White Christmas 75There is a special treat for the audience that I shall not ruin!

White Christmas 500

I believe it is fair to say that for most people the Christmas season is a wonderful time of year. For me, most of the charm and magic comes from hot cocoa, a warm fire, and sitting down to watch a cheerful Christmas movie. White Christmas nails that sentiment right on the head.  Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical is just that and stands well on its own, apart from the film on which it is based. 

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a story about two Army buddies who are in show business together. They want to take their show to the next level by bringing in a sister act. As Phil falls in love with Judy, he drags Bob up to a resort in Vermont, which happens to be run by their Army General from when they served in the war. Bob, Phil, Judy, and Betty must pull together to perform a show to save the General’s Inn. 

It is not easy replacing Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, but Sean Montgomery, who plays Bob Wallace, and Jeremy Benton, who plays Phil Davis, do a good job and bring their own flavor to the roles. Phil is the real standout here bringing comedy and a great swag demeanor to the stage, especially when paired with Judy Haynes (Kelly Sheehan). They had wonderful chemistry.  Two of the standout performances of the evening feature them in the songs, “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing” and “I Love a Piano.”  They sure can tap dance! Bob and Phil were a great dynamic duo as well, “Sisters” being their best work together. Montgomery, however, fell a bit flat in his role when performing solo or paired with Betty Haynes (Kerry Conte). 

The set design was vivid and lively!  There was great detail in the train, as well as in Jimmy’s club and inn lobby. During the ending barn scene, when it’s revealed that yes indeed it is a white Christmas, there is a special treat for the audience that I shall not ruin!  As for the music, all the classics are here—“White Christmas” being the main draw, but for me I came for “Snow” and “Sister,” and then fell in love with “Blue Skies,” singing it all the way home.  My least favorite performance was “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” by Pamela Myers who plays Martha.  Martha was witty, a little brash, and a hit with the crowd, but her often-squealy voice may not appeal to everyone.

You don’t have to like musicals to enjoy this production because either way it floods the room with holiday cheer! If you love the movie then I highly suggest going to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical.  If only the show could return every year and become an annual holiday tradition, just like watching the movie is in my family! | Ford and Heather Randall

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