A Classic That Still Delivers!
Each year, Americans seem to circumvent Thanksgiving and the joys of being with family for the enthusiasm of Christmas. We even had Black Friday, the first day of Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving. Well, since the Christmas holiday season of buying toys for the kiddies has already started, enjoy an evening of theater.
Theater At The Center brings an American classic to the stage with White Christmas. Based on the musical adaptation of Irving Berlin, White Christmas tells the story of Captain Bob Wallace and Private First-Class Phil Davis, soldiers from the 151st Division, who comes to the aid of their old Major General to save his Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont. After the war, both men become successful on Broadway and work together with two sisters to make the holidays for “The Old Man,” the best Christmas present a General could receive.
Let’s get this out; it’s hard to envision anyone playing the role of Bob and Phil, other than Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye; however, Matt Edmonds as Bob and Justin Brill as Phil does an acceptable job. The purest in hearing that sultry voice of Bing doesn’t come from Edmonds, but he does have some good pipes. Brill is a blast as Phil and his comical, wit, and woman-crazed behavior, along with being a skilled dancer, really set the tone for a delightful evening.
Casiena Raether (Judy) and Erica Stephan (Betty), as the sister act Phil brings to Bob to join them on the road, compliment the duo, and who doesn’t love the talent of Raegan Smedley as Susan the little Hollywood wannabe star. Neil Friedman plays a convincing role as General Waverly, but the unwritten star of the show was Glory Kissel as Martha. She was a hoot.
The surrounding cast did a marvelous job dazzling the audience with their showmanship in this feel-good-story placed with romance, beautiful costumes, and lots of singing and dancing.
This isn’t your Broadway production of White Christmas, and comparing this theatrical performance to a Broadway production would be iniquitous. Still, TATC always brings in a very skilled cast that provides its audience with a wonderful night of theater.
Fortunato admits that her version of White Christmas is slightly changed; however, the storyline and the characters stay the same. One thing she didn’t change is the classic songs by Irving Berlin.
The musical features all of the favorite songs like “How Deep Is The Ocean,” “I Love A Piano,” “Blue Skies,” and the beloved “White Christmas.” TATC’s White Christmas’ is a charming and delightful holiday show for everyone.
Let’s Play Recommends White Christmas at Theatre at the Center.
Theatre at the Center in Munster.
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Artistic Directed Linda Fortunato
Music Director William Underwood
November 20th – December 22nd
Filed under: ChicagoNow