BWW Review: WHITE CHRISTMAS at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater
Dutch Apple's production of White Christmas is a great night of theater for those wishing for some nostalgic memories of holidays from long ago. Simply put, If the Ghost of Christmas Past had a favorite musical, this would be it.
The premise of the show is pretty straightforward. Bob Wallace (Troy Bruchwalski) and Phil Davis (Nick Gurinsky) are a song and dance team and old army buddies. After a chance encounter, with a like minded sister act consisting of Betty (Kat Walker) and Judy (Theresa Walker), the four end up at a rural Vermont inn in preparation for a special Christmas show.
Through a major series of coincidences, Bob and Phil discover that the inn is owned by Henry Waverly (Dale Given) who just happens to be their crusty, but lovable commanding officer during the World War II, When they find out that the inn is in danger of closing because of few customers and lots of bills, everybody pitches in, pulls out all the stops, and promises to put on a giant Christmas extravaganza to help out the general and save the inn.
The cast is quite talented, and the leads are all required to be able to sing and dance equally well.. Nick Gurinsky plays Phil as the cheerful optimist. Troy Bruchwalski's Bob needs a little more convincing to get into the holiday spirit, but when he falls in love, he falls hard. Kat Walker and Theresa Walker are Betty and Judy, the boys' female talented counterparts and love interests.
It is my opinion that an audience member's level of enjoyment and appreciation for this show as a whole will be dependent upon their individual preferences and tastes. This show is heavily traditional in every sense of the word. It reminded me many times of a live version of The Lawrence Welk Show. I do not say this disparagingly, nor is it meant as a criticism of the quality of the talent involved. It is simply an acknowledgement of the show's genre. It wasn't my cup of tea, but there were many, many audience members present (including the couple we shared our table with) who loved it. Fans of Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby are in for a treat, People who prefer The Book of Mormon and Hamilton might want to sit this one out.
White Chirstmas plays at Lancaster's Dutch Apple Dinner Theater now through January 6. Tickets and more information can be found through their website, https://dutchapple.com/