White Christmas - Boston

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DottieD'Luscia
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White Christmas - Boston#1
Posted: 12/9/07 at 7:25pm
After listening and enjoying the cast recording of "White Christmas," I decided I had to see this musical on stage, be it in Toronto or Boston. As the airfares and hotel rates to Boston were better, I booked a trip for this past weekend. I saw the show both Friday and Saturday evening.

The performances of Kerry O'Malley, Meredith Patterson, Brian d'Arcy James and Jeffry Denman were all top notch. Kerry O'Malley has quite the voice; beautiful tone and richly nuanced. Meredith Patterson and Jeffry Denman were wonderful in their dance numbers. My favorite being, "I Love a Piano" which was worth the price of admission. Being a fan of tap dancing, I just did not want that particular number to end. It was sheer joy from start to finish. I have always liked Brian d'Arcy James since I saw him in "Titanic," and he does not disappointment here.

The musical numbers were enjoyable but a couple of weaknesses were the script (just plain bad) and some of the secondary characters. With the exception of Brian and Kerry's characters there was little to no character development for others. There were also a couple of extraneous characters that made me wonder why they were even there. One being "Mike" the stage manager. I'm not sure if it was the writing, direction or the actor's choice, but this was one role that I found thoroughly annoying and unfunny. It was like an over the top George Costanza (as seen by Jason Alexander on Jerry Seinfeld).

Blue Skies would have been better had it not been ruined by some of the secondary characters running throughout the dancers during the number (this was obviously a directors choice and not a good one at that).

The pros: Randy Skinners choreography as executed by a strong ensemble and great leads. The costumes were beautiful and the title number of the show (won't include spoilers) gave me chills. These were the reasons that I picked up a ticket for the following evening. I figured I would make the trip worth my while.

Thanks to those here who gave feedback when I was asking about the cast recording.

On a side note: The Wang Theatre and Opera House in Boston have to be two of the most gorgeous theatre's I have ever been in. I attended the matinee of Boston Ballet's Nutcracker at the Opera House yesterday and so glad I did.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Updated On: 12/10/07 at 07:25 PM
ashley0139
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re: White Christmas - Boston#2
Posted: 12/9/07 at 7:39pm
Thanks for the review! I'm seeing the show this week and greatly looking forward to it.
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
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re: White Christmas - Boston#2
Posted: 12/9/07 at 11:44pm
So glad you enjoyed it, Dottie! Thanks for the review! Wish I could get up there to see it! re: White Christmas - Boston
~*Sara*~

Who would play you in the movie? "Taye Diggs." --Brian d'Arcy James
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re: White Christmas - Boston#3
Posted: 12/9/07 at 11:58pm
Which of the little girls did you see and how was their performance?
?
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re: White Christmas - Boston#4
Posted: 12/10/07 at 12:01am
Melody Hollis was on for the two performances I saw. She was good, and the audience seemed to really liked her (from the enthusiasm of their applause). Unfortunately her mic went out during the reprise of her song last night, so you really couldn't hear her.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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millie_dillmount
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re: White Christmas - Boston#5
Posted: 12/10/07 at 4:44am
Dottie, I agree with most of your review! The ending surprise during the title song was a treat. I would see this again if money wasn't a situation.

Side note: how was Nutcracker?
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
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DottieD'Luscia
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re: White Christmas - Boston#6
Posted: 12/10/07 at 7:39am
Millie, I was pleasantly pleased with Boston Ballet's Nutcracker. Having grown up with NYCB's version it's difficult to see anything else. IMO, this is a very close 2nd. Their Marie (played by a child) actually danced a lot and was quite good. The dancers, sets, costumes and orchestra were all in top form. I'm glad I was able to see it.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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re: White Christmas - Boston#7
Posted: 12/10/07 at 9:03am
Dottie,
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
I have tickets for next Wednesday. Could you tell me how long the show is? Also, I have tickets for the very ...very rear of the balcony. Was the theater full? Do you think there will be an opportunity to move forward?
Thanks in advance!
"Y'all have a GRAND day now"
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DottieD'Luscia
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re: White Christmas - Boston#8
Posted: 12/10/07 at 9:38am
Princeton,

The show ran 2-1/2 hours. The theatre was fuller Saturday night as opposed to Friday. The rear balcony should be fine. On Friday night, the ushers were encouraging people to move forward (if that helps you out).

Hope you enjoy it.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Updated On: 12/10/07 at 09:38 AM
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re: White Christmas - Boston#9
Posted: 12/10/07 at 3:03pm
One more question Dottie,
Did they play the great jazzy overture that is on the cast recording? Or did they drop/shorten it as so many shows do?
"Y'all have a GRAND day now"
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re: White Christmas - Boston#10
Posted: 12/10/07 at 3:26pm
Princeton, to the best of my recollection it was the full overture that's heard on the recording. There's also an entr'acte after intermission.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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re: White Christmas - Boston#11
Posted: 12/10/07 at 4:02pm
I saw this show last Sunday and throughly enjoyed it. The songs are great, the sets are wonderful, and I loved 42nd St. so of course I love Randy Skinner's work here too. I had seen the Boston production in 2005 with Stephen Bogardus, Kerry O'Malley, Nadine Issenger, and Michael Gruber, and I was thrilled when I heard the show would be coming back this year with Meredith, Jeffry and Brian. I've been a big fan of Jeffry since I saw him in Cats and it was great to see him again as a human!

I agree that some of the secondary characters could have used more development or stage time (like Sheldrake), but I thought Michael Thomas Holmes as "Mike" was hilarious, as the frenzied stage manager. I think he should even get higher building considering that he has a lot of stage time.

For whoever was asking, Melody Hollis is the full-time Susan, and Meg only performs if Melody is sick. They don't rotate in the role, like Mary Poppins, Lion King etc.

I highly recommend to everyone in Boston to see this show because it really does create a warm feeling inside, which not that many shows nowadays do. I have yet to see the Nutcracker but I would love to if I had the time.
Dean: Can I tell you something? Lorraine: That depends on what it is. Dean: I think you're really really pretty. Lorraine: (after a pause) Ok, you can tell me that.
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re: White Christmas - Boston#12
Posted: 12/10/07 at 4:14pm
Misto, how was Nadine Isenegger as Judy?
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Updated On: 12/10/07 at 04:14 PM
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re: White Christmas - Boston#13
Posted: 12/10/07 at 5:15pm
Was this the one with Marla Schaffel? I'm such a big, big fan of hers. How was she?
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re: White Christmas - Boston#14
Posted: 12/10/07 at 5:24pm
Thanks for the review, Dottie! FYI for Boston locals, this show has been available for half price at the Bostix booth every day that I've checked (as has the Nutcracker, in fact).

Dottie, I hope you will also one day have occasion to see a show at the Colonial, another gorgeous theatre that we Bostonians are lucky enough to experience, and more intimate than the Wang or the Opera House.
Updated On: 12/10/07 at 05:24 PM
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re: White Christmas - Boston#15
Posted: 12/10/07 at 11:27pm
Jilani- that's how I got my White Christmas ticket!! It was in Row D of Orchestra too, only cost $41.

me2- This is NOT the production with Marla Schaffel, that is the national tour of the show currently traveling around, it doesn't have a website, but Playbill.com has a news story about it with the schedule of cities.

Dottie- I thought Nadine Issenger was great as Judy, I also saw her as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd St. on Broadway, so I was already partial to her before actually watching her performance. Interesting to note that her understudy was Mara Davi, who played Peggy on the non-Equity tour and now a Broadway star due to A Chorus Line and Drowsy Chaperone.
Dean: Can I tell you something? Lorraine: That depends on what it is. Dean: I think you're really really pretty. Lorraine: (after a pause) Ok, you can tell me that.
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re: White Christmas - Boston#16
Posted: 12/14/07 at 10:08am
I stumbled across this video on that site and almost fell out of my chair laughing. Well done, Jeffry! It makes me want to fly to Boston even more!
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~*Sara*~

Who would play you in the movie? "Taye Diggs." --Brian d'Arcy James
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re: White Christmas - Boston#17
Posted: 12/14/07 at 10:31am
Thanks Misto.

How I'm contemplating returning to Boston to see this the weekend it closes (I'll already be in CT, so it'll be somewhat closer in comparison to going up from DC).
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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re: White Christmas - Boston#18
Posted: 12/14/07 at 2:59pm
After whining for years that "Why doesn't this show come to Broadway (or at least NYC)?" I Amtracked to Boston on Tuesday with my bud Peter to see it at last.

If anyone can make it this year - get your butts to Boston ASAP. Though I loves me some new musicals, fresh scores and young audiences - I gotta say - of all the movies-turned-stage musicals WHITE CHRISTMAS (especially in this lavish production) is the absolute best-of-the-bunch and even better than the movie (sorry, but I'd rather go though root-canal than deal with Danny Kaye). As traditional, old-fashioned entertainment, it can't be topped.

This was my first time at the Wang Center, and I was totally unprepared for it. It's a plushly restored, Beaux-Arts Baroque wedding-cake of a gilded-age theatre complete with a huge balconied lobby with extravagant original chandeliers, circled by towering red marble Corinthian columns and an auditorium filled with carved putti and ignudi and a "frescoed" ceiling with Tiepoloesque gods and goddesses. It makes the New Amsterdam look like the Marquis. There is NO Broadway house that remotely compares to it.

Though Brian d'Arcy James was out (in NYC for the day for a NEXT TO NORMAL meeting), his understudy Peter Reardon was superb. His "How Deep Is the Ocean" made Peter weep with joy. Jeffry and Meridith Patterson made a charismatic dream team (Their "I Love A Piano" was a tap showstopper with the super-talented dance ensemble in support) and Kerry O'Malley Ohmygod. What a voice! Her "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" (in the swankest NY Night club set I've ever seen - it made the audience gasp) with all respect to Rosemary Clooney - may well be the definitive version that drew the loudest cheers of the evening. And if Debra Monk decides to leave CURTAINS, may I suggest powerhouse Susan Mansur to be her replacement? She belted "Sing and I'm Happy" to the rafters and got the biggest laugh of the evening with the one 'adult' wisecrack in the show (funnier still because it was totally unexpected in a family show). And little Melody Hollis was the least "cute" child performer I've seen in a long time!
(and I mean that as a compliment).

If I could afford it, I'd go back next week. And if anybody goes, I suggest The Chandler Inn. I got a great deal ($91 for a great room with two beds) and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. And it's only a five minute walk to the Wang Center.
"Hurry up and get into your conga clothes - we've got to do something to save this show!"
Updated On: 12/14/07 at 02:59 PM
ashley0139
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re: White Christmas - Boston#19
Posted: 12/14/07 at 3:14pm
I went to the show on Wednesday night. I was hugely disappointed Brian D'Arcy James was out, as he was one of my major reasons for seeing the show. After pouting through the first act, during the second I finally let myself enjoy it. And it's such a fun show. I also really like Meredith Patterson so I was excited to see her perform again. She was amazing- my favorite part of the show. I didn't like Melody at first, but by the time her song came around, my jaw was on the floor. What a voice! Jeffry Denman was great, as I expected him to be.

Although I was disappointed that Brian was not there, it is still a top notch and amazing production. The sets were incredible. That scene at the very end after curtain call- wow. Unbelievable. I think I'm actually going to try to go back sometime this weekend to see it again with Brian.
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
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re: White Christmas - Boston#20
Posted: 12/14/07 at 3:29pm
Wow, Ashley! Brian was out on Wendesday, too? Bummer.

We are of the same mind - I'm VERY tempted to run back there next weekend.
"Hurry up and get into your conga clothes - we've got to do something to save this show!"
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re: White Christmas - Boston#21
Posted: 12/14/07 at 3:53pm
That makes 3 of us.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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re: White Christmas - Boston#22
Posted: 12/14/07 at 4:45pm
I was told Brian was only going to be out for a few days so hopefully he'll be back for this weekend! :)
~*Sara*~

Who would play you in the movie? "Taye Diggs." --Brian d'Arcy James
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re: White Christmas - Boston#23
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:00pm
I ended up seeing the show again tonight. Brian is incredible! Such an amazing performer to watch. I'm so glad I got to go back and see him

One thing they really need to fix is Melody's mic during her song. When she puts the top hat on her head, it covers her mic so you can't hear her. At least, that happened both times I saw the show. As cute as the hat is, a change needs to be made so everyone can hear her powerhouse voice!
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
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re: White Christmas - Boston#24
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:09pm
Ashley, the first time I saw the show her mic worked both times she sang, when I saw it the following night, during her reprise you couldn't hear her at all.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany