After a recent tour of the first ever stage production, Irving Berlin’s, White Christmas has settled in the Dominion theatre until January 3rd 2015.
White Christmas tells the heart-warming story of two-ex army friends, who team up with a couple of sisters to put on a show to save a secluded ski lodge in Vermont owned by their old army General.
As expected with a cast like this, the singing is absolutely flawless. Aled Jones (best known for singing I’m walking in the air from The Snowman) who plays Bob Wallace, redeems an otherwise wavering performance through his sensational vocals. Likewise, Tom Chambers who plays Phil Davis is an extraordinary dancer but gives a decent performance. Luckily the two characters contrast each other so well that the pair’s acting styles complement each other quite well.
Similarly the Haynes sisters play off each other very agreeably to give a varied performance. Rachel Stanley, who plays Betty Haynes sings beautifully but it felt that her role could be bigger for a main character. Louise Bowden, who plays Judy Hayes is an incredible dancer and entertaining to watch.
The true star of the show is Martha Watson played by Wendi Peters. Peters gives an energetic performance. Her vocals are tremendous and her character is hilarious. Indeed, last night’s Susan Waverly gave a stunning performance easily falling into Peters’ shoes. General Henry Waverly played by Graham Cole transforms his normally grumpy character in a very moving performance toward to end.
The show didn’t seem to fit in to the typical mould of a Christmas film and didn’t feel to‘Christmassy’ until near the end. The plot seems underdeveloped; there is a misunderstanding but not much happens between this taking place and the resolution. However, the show includes many flashy dance numbers with stunning tap choreography, ideal for a classic big Christmas Musical.
Although the music was particularly underwhelming, songs such as; White Christmas, both takes on the song Sisters and Let me sing and I’m happy, are exceptionally charming. The orchestra still plays every song exquisitely.
The set for the show is fantastic and the use of the stage to show various locations at the same time is remarkable.
The first short scene set in 1944 during the war is very sweet ans tied in nicely with the ending. Everything comes together again in time for Christmas for one spectacular finale.
Although this may not necessarily be one for the kids, it is a nice break from all the Christmas pantomimes.