OPENING NIGHT: Paramount goes MGM on Broadway with WHITE CHRISTMAS


To purchase the Original Broadway Cast Recording of WHITE CHRISTMAS, click on the image above.

The musical Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, based on the Paramount Pictures film of the same name with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, opens on Broadway tonight for a limited, seasonal run. Playbill featured photos from the show a couple of days ago: the whole thing looks very much like a classic MGM musical, both in its scenic design and in its use of colour:

Whilst this production stars Kerry O’Malley, Stephen Bogardus, Jeffry Denman and Meredith Patterson, there is already a cast recording of the show, with Brian D’Arcy James and Anastasia Barzee in the Bogardus and O’Malley roles respectively. I suppose it’s doubtful that a new one will come out of this production.

Here’s a plot synopsis as well as a list of musical numbers, also from Playbill:

A couple of song-and-dance men meet up with a sister act to make sparks fly — and snow fall — in the Broadway premiere of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas…. Set in the 1950s, ten years after the leading men ended their World War II service, White Christmas “tells the story of two showbiz buddies who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and find their perfect mates in the bargain,” according to producers…. Here’s the list of musical numbers from the Playbill of White Christmas:

ACT ONE: Overture / “Happy Holiday” / “White Christmas” / “Let Yourself Go” / “Love and the Weather” / “Sisters” / “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” / “Snow” / “What Can You Do With a General?” / “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” / “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” / “Blue Skies”

ACT TWO: Entr’acte / “I Love a Piano” / “Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun” / “Sisters” (Reprise) / “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” / “How Deep Is the Ocean?” / “We’ll Follow the Old Man” / “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” (Reprise) / “How Deep Is the Ocean?” (Reprise) / “We’ll Follow the Old Man” (Reprise) / “White Christmas” (Reprise) / Finale: “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”

I don’t know how faithful this is to the film, which I’ve only seen it once, ages ago, and can barely remember.

So what do you think of the idea of White Christmas on Broadway? Will it scatter a flurry of joyful snowflakes on Times Square, or does it promise only to be an icky piece of sludge? Or, as it’s only there for the festive season, perhaps it doesn’t matter to you at all?

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9 Responses to OPENING NIGHT: Paramount goes MGM on Broadway with WHITE CHRISTMAS

  1. The Very Angry Woman says:

    I’ve never actually seen the film (gasp, pearl clutch, I know…), but I did see the second San Francisco incarnation and thought it was a lot of fun. It’s perfectly appropriate for a limited run on Broadway.

  2. Jack Manion says:

    I’ve seen a stage adaption, don’t know if it was the same one, and it was *really* faithful. Tons of fun. However, this sounds stupid, but why are the Haynes sisters not both bleach blonde?! Disturbing, much?

  3. Celeste SM says:

    I also saw the second San Francisco run and thought it was a great seasonal musical. Perfect for Broadway.

  4. Pounce says:

    I personally find these golden era of musicals interesting relics of the past and they should stay there. Only shows like West Side Story seem to last through the ages. White Christmas, to me, is for the WWII generation. I think the story, musical arrangements, and choreography would all have to be reworked to suit today’s audiences. Plus “White Christmas” has to be one of my least favorite Christmas songs.

  5. David Fick says:

    I quite like “White Christmas” as a Christmas song – even though it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever have one. But I like the yearning tone of the song; I think the wish to have a perfect Christmas is universal amongst those who celebrate it and the holiday is so often bittersweet for one reason or another – so it works for me. My favourite versions are those by Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand.

  6. lottielou says:

    I haven’t seen the movie either that I can remember, but a dinner theatre about an hour away from me puts it on every year, and everyone says that it’s really good.

  7. Paradox in Pink says:

    I’m going to see it next week in Det. I love the movie, so I’m pretty excited.

  8. David Fick says:

    As for the show – Playbill has two featured articles at the moment. One is an interview with Randy Skinner, the choreographer and the other is an interview with leading man Jeffry Denman.

  9. Paradox in Pink says:

    So I saw it, and it was some nice Christmas fluff, but it wasn’t as good as the movie. I enjoyed the guy who played Bob Wallace, and Betty Haynes was pretty good too. Judy was just OK. Phil was lacking. But overall, it was cute and fun. I liked it.

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