Irving Berlin's White Christmas now at the Pantages

"Dreaming Of A White Christmas"

It's going to be a White Christmas this year in Los Angeles. If you don't believe me just head over to the Pantages and catch the L.A. Premier of Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS.

It has everything you need for the holidays. Lovable friends, family, old-fashioned values, loyalty, romance, show-stopping Irving Berlin numbers and yes, my dears, SNOW!

The Company of Irving Berlin's White Christmas

WHITE CHRISTMAS made a highly acclaimed debuted in San Francisco in 2004.  It is running at the Pantages for a limited 6-week engagement through January 1, 2006.

The song "White Christmas" is an Irving Berlin classic and has taken on a life of its own, since he wrote it for the 1942 movie musical Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds.  It won the 1942 Academy Award for Best Song of the Year. It was also sung by Crosby in Blue Skies (1946) and as the title song in White Christmas (1954).

Anastasia Barzee and Meredith Patterson in “Sisters”

"White Christmas" is the most recorded Christmas song of all time, with over 500 different "cover versions" to date. It has been translated into dozens of languages, including Dutch, Latin, Portuguese, as well as Italian ("Bianco Natale"), French ("Noel Blanc"), Spanish (Navidades Blancas") and even Yiddish ("In Vayse Nitl").

Bing Crosby's recording of "White Christmas" has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, and it is the best-selling record in history.

Brian D’Arcy James and Jeffry Denman

Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS is directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie (Chicago), features a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, is choreographed by Randy Skinner (42nd Street), has set design by Anna Louizos (Avenue Q), costumes by Carrie Robbins (A Class Act), lighting design by Ken Billington (Annie), sound design by Acme Sound Partners (The Boy From Oz), orchestrations by Larry Blank, vocal and additional arrangements by Bruce Pomahac, music direction by Rob Berman, and casting by Jay Binder C.S.A.

Brian D’Arcy James and Jeffry Denman as "Sisters"

"Irving Berlin was always proud of the movie White Christmas, and we are thrilled that it has now become a stage musical," says Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization which administers the Irving Berlin copyrights. "He wrote a song about Christmas that became more than a song - it became the highlight of one film, the title song of another, and a worldwide phenomenon. We have been working with Paramount Pictures for several years to make this stage version a reality, and all of us - including the family - are looking forward to seeing the show that this great creative team is bringing to life on stage."

The Company of Irving Berlin's White Christmas

The musical tells the story of WWII buddies, Bob Wallace (gifted Brian D'Arcy James) and Phil Davis (the hilarious Jeffry Denman), who become showbiz sensations after the war. In their pursuit of the perfect "sister act" (and a little romance) addition for their next song-n-dance hit show. They follow sisters Judy Haynes (delightful Meredith Patterson) and Betty Haynes (captivating Anastasia Barzee) up to a picturesque Vermont lodge.  The buddies met up with their former Army commander General Henry Waverley (the venerable David Ogden Stiers) his "concierge" Martha Watson (the wacky Ruth Williamson) and his adorable granddaughter (the delightful Danielle Milano). This is where the fun begins, as the boys realize the General is in trouble and they may be the only ones to help. What follows is chaotic and zany fun.

Ruth Williamson - Jeffry Denman and Brian D’Arcy James - David Ogden Stiers and Danielle Milano

In their review the Oakland Tribune said, "you've stepped into a Technicolor movie musical."  This is exactly what it feels like to be sitting in the audience. You suddenly find yourself transported into a by-gone movie world where the colors are bright and vivacious and people break out in song and dance when they find that words can't adequately describe what they are feeling.  Not just any songs either, Irving Berlin classics, which include not only "White Christmas" but others such as "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing," "Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Sisters," "Count Your Blessings", "I Love a Piano," plus many more.

"I Love A Piano"

The costumes and sets are styled after the movie and incorporated many stylized technologies that were used back in the 50's. Like the memorable backlit Vermont landscape with the snow gently falling. And the famous red and white, Christmas costumes.  The staging and choreography are superb, the fabulous dance numbers had the audience tapping their toes and snapping their fingers in time with the taps clapping onstage. When the audience left the theatre it was with a song in their hearts and a smile on their lips.

This production is outstanding and its so nice to be getting some first-class theatre here in L.A.

A "brand new"/old Christmas classic has been born and it will continue delighting audiences for years to come.

The Company of Irving Berlin's White Christmas

Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS is produced by The Producing Office, Paul Blake, Dan Markley, and Sonny Everett in association with Paramount Pictures. Music and lyrics are by Irving Berlin, the book is by David Ives and Paul Blake.  Musical Supervision is by Rob Berman, and direction is by Walter Bobbie, who is currently represented on Broadway with SWEET CHARITY and CHICAGO.  The stage production is based on the Paramount Pictures film, written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank.

Dates:  November 22, 2005 - January 1, 2006
Previews:  November 22 - 27, 2005
Regular Perfs:   November 28, 2005 - January 1, 2006
Theatre: PANTAGES THEATRE, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
Performance Schedule:  Tuesday - Friday at 8:00 PM, Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00 PM Sunday at 1:00 PM & 6:30 PM
   
SCHEDULE EXCEPTIONS: There are no evening performances on 11/29, 12/24, 12/31, and 1/1. 
   
Tickets from $20 - $87 are on sale at:
 Pantages Theatre Box Office
 All Ticketmaster Outlets
 Charge by Phone:  213-365-3500 or 714-740-7878
 Online:  www.BroadwayLA.org

photos by Craig Schwartz

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