Broadway Shows and Holiday25 Nov 2008 03:36 pm

An old-fashioned treat danced its way to Broadway in the form of the delightful classic new musical Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The limited engagement at the Marquis Theatre is sure to enchant all with the breathtaking Irving Berlin score set to the clever choreographed numbers of Randy Skinner, of “42nd Street” fame. This production gives the audience everything in a perfect, about two-hour long, musical Christmas package filled with so many festive delights including the expected “snowfall” upon its conclusion.

The cast led by Broadway veteran Kerry O’Malley showcased their talents throughout this must-see holiday classic. It was Ms. O’Malley’s shining moment when she performed “Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me”. She appeared in a simply gorgeous black dress (costumes by Carrie Robbins) in a scenic masterpiece of a nightclub set against the city skyline(designed by Tony-award winning Anna Louizos). Her rich, mezzo voice was enhanced by the sensitive and light tone of Stephen Bogardus who performed “How Deep Is the Ocean” during the same scene. Both performers captured a magical moment in this vocal highpoint of the show.

         white christmas caroline digonis

Stephen Bogardus was also a pleasant vocal surprise during his cheerful performance of “Blue Skies” in another scene.   The second act began showcasing our second couple in the cast, Jeffry Denman and Meredith Patterson performing in the very colorful and dazzling number “I Love A Piano”. The show was filled throughout with dance numbers with Meredith Patterson and Jeffry Denman feather light on their toes in the spirit of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. If you are fond of dance and Irving Berlin’s music then this is the show to see. The audience is even encouraged to join in with the cast for the performance of the title song “White Christmas”, so brush up on your knowledge of the lyrics.

The story of White Christmas is about two sisters with different ideals for their male counterparts. While one is more outgoing and flamboyant, the other is more protective and mature in her decisions. The sisters (played by Kelly O’Malley and Meredith Patterson) find their equals in a pair of Army buddies turned Broadway stars (played by Stephen Bogardus and Jeffry Denman). Along the way of their growing relationships, the couples help raise much needed funds for an old General buddy (played by Charles Dean) who runs a bed and breakfast, in Vermont, that fell on hard times.

The production has been touring since 2004, under the Tony award-winning Director Walter Bobbie and remains surprisingly fresh in presentation. The Radio City Christmas Show and The Nutcracker will have some serious competition to contend with if this song-filled production becomes a Christmas tradition which can easily happen.

The limited engagement runs from November 14th, 2008 through January 4th, 2009 at the Marquis Theatre, located within the Marquis Hotel, at 211 West 45th Street. Ticket prices range from $65.00 to $140.00. Visit White Christmas online for showtimes and ticket purchasing information.

                        All Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2008

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