PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The holiday theatre season is under way, and the Walnut Street Theatre has launched an elaborate production of Irving Berlin’s spirited musical, “White Christmas.”
The musical “White Christmas” originated, of course, with the 1954 movie featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney.
The theatre version, titled “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” started in San Francisco in 2004, toured a half-dozed American cities and the United Kingdom, with limited engagements on Broadway.
It’s a fragile story of two World War II buddies and their commanding officer involved in a New England-based musical. And, while the story line is episodic — in some cases almost nonexistent — the sets are impressive and peopled by very talented area performers.
And, of course, it’s the songs of Irving Berlin that dominate. The familiarity even provokes some singalongs in the audience.
Understand that while there’s little “book” to this “White Christmas,” there’s enough enjoyment to keep an audience happy.
The show runs through January 9th at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, in center city Philadelphia.
Reviewed by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060.