Kory’s Review: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas @ Dallas Summer Musicals

Kory hosts afternoon drive (weekdays 3pm-7pm) on 103.7 KVIL and is an experienced theatre critic focused on reviewing from the audiences perspective. Kory currently reviews theatre for CBS Radio - Dallas/Ft. Worth.

When I say Irving Berlin’s White Christmas you may think of the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, or the 1941 Bing Crosby recording, and you would be correct, but after a hit record and a classic movie, a musical is the next logical step…right? Right. Dallas Summer Musicals has jumped on the holiday bandwagon by bringing that very musical to Dallas to open their 2013-2014 season!

White Christmas, with the familiar music of Irving Berlin and a libretto by David Ives and Paul Blake, follows the same general plot line of the movie, we meet two soldiers at the end of World II, Captain Bob Wallace, and Private Phil Davis. They have a knack for being class clowns, with a musical edge. After the war, they turn their song-and-dance routine into a successful career which includes several appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. They come across a “sister act” to add to their upcoming Miami show, and through an odd, rather abrupt and hormone driven turn of events they end up in Vermont. Hilarity ensues.

Ruth Williamson in Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Photo: Carder Photography/White Christmas National Tour)

Ruth Williamson in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Photo: Carder Photography/White Christmas National Tour)

The ensemble cast is very strong and includes memorable performances from James Clow, David Elder, Trista Moldovan, Meredith Peterson, Ruth Williamson and Kaitlyn Davidson. This cast’s resume reads like the Who’s Who of Broadway including shows like Phantom of the Opera, Company, 42nd Street, Follies, and Les Misérables. That kind of experience can bring just about any show to life, but this show is actually good! The plot is a bit contrived, and lacks heart, but thankfully the script is fast moving, full of life, energy and comedy, and doesn’t require much thinking. The dance numbers alone are worth the admission price, especially the many tap numbers.

White Christmas wreaks of old Broadway’s grand style and will drag you kicking and screaming into the holiday spirit. It may even pull a tear out of the most cynical Scrooge when it snows in the theatre during the finale. A strong cast, gorgeous sets and lighting, a memorable score and impressive choreography team up to make this feel-good, sugary and emotionally light show a holiday hit for all ages. Check this show out, you’ll be glad you did! Merry Christmas!

The National Tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas makes it’s final stop at Music Hall at Fair Park through December 29th, then it melts away with the snow (do we get that here?) to make way for Dallas Summer Musical’s next offering Ghost The Musical. Grab tickets and information at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

The cast of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" National Tour (Photo: Kevin White/White Christmas National Tour)

The cast of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” National Tour (Photo: Kevin White/White Christmas National Tour)


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