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?