Musical Theatre West Brings WHITE CHRISTMAS to The Carpenter Center
This holiday season's weather report forecasts SNOW! Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, and top it off with glorious dancing and you have Irving Berlin's White Christmas, coming to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center December 1-10! Tickets are now on sale at the Musical Theatre West Ticket Office, at www.musical.org, or by calling (562) 856-1999 ext. 4. Tickets start at $20.
Based on the beloved film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, the stage production of White Christmas features 17 of Irving Berlin's classics, from "Blue Skies" to "I Love a Piano" and the timeless holiday favorite "White Christmas." Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have partnered as a successful song and dance team following WWII. After meeting a stunning sister act, they follow the girls and their hearts to a magical Vermont Inn, owned by their old Army commander. Will spirit of the holidays bring together families old and new? Will the unseasonably warm weather allow for a white Christmas?
MTW's production boasts a cast of Broadway and award-winning talent. David Engel, (Bob Wallace) a six-time LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award winner, has appeared on Broadway opposite Carol Burnett in Putting it Together and in Seussical: The Musical. He also created the role of Hanna from Hamburg in the original Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles, and played an Aggie in both the stage and the film versions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Engel is also recognized for creating the role of Smudge in the original off-Broadway production of Forever Plaid and the holiday sequel Plaid Tidings, as well as Forever Plaid: The Movie. He returns to MTW, where he starred in productions of Singin' in the Rain, Crazy for You, Never Gonna Dance, Kiss Me Kate, and La Cage Aux Folles.
Jeffrey Scott Parsons (Phil Davis) earned critical acclaim for his turn as Phil Davis for five seasons at San Diego Musical Theatre. MTW audiences will also recognize Parsons for his roles in the company's productions of Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Rent, and All Shook Up. Additional credits include Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and the Emcee in Cabaret at the Welk Resort (San Diego Critics Nomination- Outstanding Lead Performance) as well as the opening act for Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie's one woman show in Hollywood.
Rebecca Johnson (Betty Haynes) earned an Ovation Award nomination for her turn as Elizabeth in MTW's production of Young Frankenstein, and has since returned to star in Singin' in the Rain and the West Coast premiere of Big Fish. She has also appeared in Who Could Ask for Anything More (Rubicon Theatre), Children of a Lesser God (Deaf West Theatre) and Pippin (Mark Taper Forum).
Tro Shaw (Judy Haynes), another Broadway veteran, co-starred as Anybodys in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. This is Shaw's fifth time playing Judy Haynes, having performed it twice at the Norris Theatre and twice at San Diego Musical Theatre.
White Christmas is under the direction of Todd Nielsen. The recipient of several Drama-Logue and L.A. Weekly awards for his work, he earned Ovation Awards for "Best Musical Theatre Direction" for the Colony productions of On The Twentieth Century, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and City of Angels, as well as nominations for The Colony's productions of Working and King of Hearts, and an L.A. Drama Critics Circle nomination for his work on the musical Rags. Additional credits include Is He Dead and Bye, Bye Birdie for Glendale Centre Theatre; HONK! and Silent Sky for International City Theatre; The Music Man for Palos Verdes Performing Arts; White Christmas for San Diego Musical Theatre; and Where's Charley? for the Musical Theatre Guild at Pasadena Playhouse.
Choreographer Keenon Hooks, has earned NYA Awards for his work in Bring it On, The Musical and Disney's Camp Rock, the Musical, as well as a BroadwayWorld nomination for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has previously choreographed White Christmas for San Diego Musical Theatre, and numerous productions for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Palos Verdes Performing Arts, and many other regional theatre companies.
Musical Director Dennis Castellano is an accomplished conductor, accompanist, and vocal coach specializing in music theatre. In additional to serving as s the musical director for UCI's musical theatre department, he has waved the baton for such personalities as Carol Burnett, Donna McKechnie, John Cullum, Kaye Ballard, and a host of other Broadway talent. He has also worked with South Coast Repertory, Sacramento Music Circus, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities, Musical Theatre West, and The Laguna Playhouse.
Musical Theatre West's production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas is made possible thanks to the support of Season Sponsors The Port of Long Beach, The Ackerman Family/Evalyn M Bauer Foundation, Ken & Dottie Reiner, The Schulzman-Neri Foundation, Don & Marlene Temple, and Kathy Baker Cambell and KC Wilson; Honorary Producers Ken & Dottie Reiner; Associate Producers Jon and Amanda Hall; and Youth Performance Underwriters Edward Parker and LA County Supervisor, Janice Hahn. Paul Garman serves as Executive Producer/Director of Musical Theatre West.