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Review: WHITE CHRISTMAS at Fulton Theatre

Review: WHITE CHRISTMAS at Fulton Theatre

Probably most appreciated by audience members who can still remember Howdy Doody, skate keys, and party lines.

Fulton Theatre's current production of the tepid White Christmas is an excellent example of the old adage "there are no small parts, only small actors". Leads, Will Ray (Bob) and Luke Hawkins (Phil) were perfectly adequate, but unmemorable as a song and dance team looking to pay a debt to their old army general. Likewise, Hanely Smith (Betty) and Sarah Meahl (Judy) lacked depth as the interchangeable sisters and love interests of the leads.

On the other hand, the supporting cast members were a lot of fun. Blake Hammond plays the kooky Ezekial, a local hired hand who "came with the barn". His one word catch phrase of "a-yup" cracked me up every time he said it. Darren Lorenzo played the aforementioned army general, Henry Waverly. Lorenzo was enjoyable as the gruff, but good intentioned (grand)father figure. Cienna Kamanda was lovely as his spunky offspring, Susan.

The breakout star of this show was the excellent, Tarra Conner Jones (Martha). Channeling the great Nell Carter, Jones laid down a powerhouse performance full of crackling humor and dynamic energy. Someone probably needs to call the Lancaster Police, because Jones stole every scene she was in.

The plot and score of the show were reminiscent of The Lawrence Welk Show. It doubles down on the nostalgia and cheese. It is probably most appreciated by audience members who can still remember Howdy Doody, skate keys, and party lines.

I think there is still a place and time for this style of entertainment, if done well. For example, American Music Theater's current Christmas show is unapologetically old-fashioned, while still offering an engaging night of live holiday entertainment.

While this show was not my cup of tea, there were some stand out moments of mirth and merriment. You might want to buy a couple of tickets as Christmas gifts. Grandma will probably love it.


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From This Author - Rich Mehrenberg

Rich Mehrenberg was introduced to the magic of theater when he played "The Boy" in his first grade class production of "The Giving Tree". It has been a long term love affair eve... (read more about this author)


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