Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review of White Christmas at Drury Lane Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called White Christmas. The book was by David Ives and Paul Blake based on the movie written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank. The music and lyrics were by Irving Berlin. It was directed by William Osetek. The choreography was by Matt Crowle and the music direction was by Roberta Duchak. It was about a man named Bob Wallace (Sean Allan Krill) and his best friend Phil Davis (Matt Raftery) and they both fall in love with two different sisters Betty Haynes (Gina Milo) and Judy Haynes (Erica Stephan). And they are trying to put on a show in a little inn in Vermont to help General Henry Waverly (Don Forston) because they served under him in the army during World War II. Now he owns an inn and they are helping the General get more people in his inn. It is about love, friendship, and how everything is better when you're dancing. I thought this was a really good show and it was so much fun to be at. I'm a huge fan of the movie. (I used to try to reenact scenes from it with unsuspecting five-year-old boys; and of course they ran away from me.) The show was mostly true to the movie, and I really loved it.

I loved the "I Love a Piano" song. I thought it was really good and catchy. And I loved the tap dance, led by Phil and Judy. It was so impressive; they all were so coordinated with each other's movements and they were so fast! I was inspired. It was fun that I knew some of the moves because I take tap, but it is also super exciting for anyone to watch. The costumes (by Robert Kuhn) for this song were super cool and exciting. I loved the train on Judy's dress. It was so pretty. You wouldn't expect that kind of thing for a tap number, but there it was! The costumes were piano colors, black & white, and they were all different patterns. This number shows what the show they are putting on will be like, and it adds a lot of spectacle to the show and shows you it is going to be very cool and exciting.

One of my favorite songs in the entire show is the song "Snow" because it is so peppy and funny. I loved the snoring man (Devin DeSantis); he was so funny and I loved how he would just sit up and start singing this beautiful melody. The entire scene was really funny. Bob Wallace saw a bunch of people carrying skis onto the train car. But he just thought they were all idiots because he thought the train was going to Miami, which is where Bob and Phil were scheduled to go, but then two love birds (Phil and Judy) came along and decided they needed to go spend more time together in Vermont where Judy was doing a show. And they needed to spend more time together with snow! My favorite line is "I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow." It is so ridiculous because you'd just be freezing! It is so funny.

There was one woman in the show, Alene Robertson who played Martha, who I would call the Ethel Merman of Chicago because she was so good at belting and she was so funny and amazing that I couldn't take my eyes off her. I loved how she said how Ethel Merman had told her to be quiet! But sometimes Martha makes some bad decision; like hiding bills from people is never a good idea because they usually need to know about them. "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy" was super belty and fun and it showed Martha's capability of being able to be an innkeeper and an amazing performer. And the performer showed great capability of being funny and a good performer. Then the song was reprised later by Susan (Maya Lou Hlava), the granddaughter of the General, and I thought it was very good. I thought it was really funny to see this cute tween doing something that a fabulous middle-aged woman did in the last act. And as the song goes on, Martha starts to realize that this is her song and I thought she was going to get up and yell at Susan, but she just gave her a hug and that was really sweet.

People who would like this show are people who like fabulous belters, amazing tap dancing, and washing your hair with snow. I think people should definitely go see this show. It was so much fun and it definitely got me in the holiday spirit even though I saw it just a few days after Halloween!

Photos: Brett Beiner

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