by Paul Citron.
The current stage show of the 1954 movie White Christmas is a reverential treatment of the story, and more to the point, of the 1950s themselves, right down to the period costumes and period optimism. In short, the musical version called Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which began life in 2004, doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a good, old-fashioned evening of entertainment. There are the great Berlin songs from the film such as Sisters and Count Your Blessings, plus additional tunes taken from the composer’s song book gilded by snappy production numbers and attractive sets.
Talented Graham Rowat, Kate Baldwin, Tony Yazbeck and Shannon O’Bryan lead a strong cast that also includes Kate Hennig and Barry Flatman. Young 10-year-old Cassidy Swanston holds her own as the general’s grand-daughter.
In fact, this delightful show is a trip down memory lane before musicals got mega and pretentious, and tried to be opera.
White Christmas continues until Jan. 5.
From the Sony Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.