Drayton Entertainment kicks off the holiday season at the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge with an energetic, festive family musical that will warm your heart and put you in the holiday spirit. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas sweeps audiences off their feet now through December 20th.
“White Christmas is a lavish spectacle that’s full of lively dance numbers, delightful romance, light-hearted humour and some of the greatest holiday songs ever written,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment.
Based on the classic 1954 film, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who go into show business together after serving in WWII. Before embarking on a warm vacation one December, the pair meets Betty and Judy Haynes, a talented sister act. After falling for Judy, Phil tricks Bob into following the girls to a local inn in Vermont that just happens to be owned by their former army commander, General Waverly.
When they arrive at the inn, the men soon discover that the General doesn’t make a very good innkeeper and his business is on the verge of collapse with no snow, no guests, and many unpaid bills. In an effort to save the inn, Bob and Phil team up with the sisters to create a Broadway show in the General’s barn, which also leads to romance for Bob and Betty.
Jeff Irving and Kyle Blair are perfectly cast as Bob Wallace and Phil Davis. Their charisma and chemistry are immediately felt by the audience as the pair sing, dance and vie for the hearts of Betty and Judy Haynes.
Irving is a superb crooner who flawlessly delivers the title song “White Christmas” and the ever-popular “Blue Skies” while Blair is simply magnetic in “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” and “I Love a Piano.”
Jayme Armstrong and Rachel Crowther are equally enchanting as the Haynes sisters. Armstrong gives a first-rate delivery of Betty, the sensible sister who goes to lengths to hide her true desire to find love. Crowther is beguiling as Judy, the ambitious and slightly scheming Haynes sister who will stop at nothing to find a love match for Betty.
Victor A. Young is the retired U.S. Army General Henry Waverly, who is struggling to adapt to civilian life. Young displays the perfect balance between a tough military vet and a kind-hearted man who is in need of family and love.
Jayne Lewis shows her comedic chops as Martha Watson, the General’s big-hearted yet meddling housekeeper who belts an impressive rendition of “Let Me Sing And I’m Happy.” Singing the endearing reprise, Anna Bartlam delights as the General’s sweet and adorable granddaughter, Susan.
Mike Jackson, who appeared as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz earlier this season, is charismatic as Ralph Sheldrake, a fast-talking TV executive and old army buddy of Bob and Phil. Kyle Golemba is also highly amusing as the over-dramatic Stage Manager, Mike.
Adding the final trimming to this yuletide treat is an ensemble cast of terrific performers including Stephen Cota, Ryan Gifford, Caitlin Goguen, Jessica Horn, Sarah Matton, Chad McFadden, Melanie McInenly, Gregory Pember, Jennifer Stewart and Mike Tracz.
Director and Choreographer Michael Lichtefeld utilizes the exquisite music and impressive sets to his advantage to tell this beloved story. Lichtefeld’s dazzling choreography is a joy to watch and his stylish direction captures both the intimate scenes and the grand ensemble numbers. The stylish costumes by Jenine Kroeplin add to the grandeur of this lavish musical while the Lighting Design by Kevin Fraser enhances the set and casts an ideal glow to capture the holiday spirit.
Music Director Michael Barber leads a top-notch band through the wistful romantic ballads, clever comedic songs, and show-stopping production numbers, which delight the audience and add the perfect context to each scene, bringing Irving Berlin’s classic music to life.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is proudly sponsored by Equitable Life of Canada and GM Bennett. Media Sponsors are Magic 106.1 and the Hamilton Spectator. The Design Sponsors are Com Dev and Re/Max Solid Gold Realty by Jim & Carol McIntyre. The 2015 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.
Don’t miss your chance to see this holiday classic come to life on stage. Tickets are $42 for adults and $25 for Youth under 20 years of age. HST is applicable to all ticket prices.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is on stage through December 20th. Tickets may be purchased online at dunfieldtheatrecambridge.com, in person at the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge Box Office or by calling (519) 621-8000 or toll free 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866).