White Christmas

by Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by David Ives and Paul Blake

182nd Production. One of the most famous and well-loved films of all time is brought to the stage, telling a story of love and loyalty through the wonderful music and lyrics of Irving Berlin. A colourful extravaganza of music and dance to chase away the winter blues. The perfect pre-Christmas treat for the whole family. Plot It is Christmas Eve 1944 on the Western Front in WW2. Captain Bob Wallace and Private Phil Davis are entertaining the troupes to keep their spirits up. They are interrupted by General Waverley who pretends to reprimand the men for being frivolous during war time. The action then swiftly moves to 1954 and Wallace and Davis are now stars of stage and screen and performing the same number, on a grander scale, at the famous Ed Sullivan show. After the performance at Ed Sullivan finishes Phil takes Bob to a club in another part of town to see a new act “the Haynes Sisters” as a favour to an old army pal. Here they see Betty and Judy perform and are impressed. They all have a drink together and it turns out that it was Judy that had arranged for Wallace and Davis to see the show, not their brother. Phil and Judy get on well, but it is not quite the same for Bob and Betty, even though there is clearly a spark between them. Phil and Judy hatch a plan to get Bob and Betty together. Bob thinks he is going on a train to Florida when he is really heading for Vermont, where the girls are due to perform for the holidays. People are travelling to Vermont for the snow but as they arrive they discover there is a heatwave. Bob, Phil, Betty & Judy arrive at the Columbia Inn where all the guests are leaving because there is no snow. Coincidentally the Inn is owned by the boys’ old General – Henry Waverly. It is clear the inn is not doing good business and Martha, the concierge is trying to keep things afloat. Bob & Phil are introduced to the General’s granddaughter, Susan, who is staying for the Christmas holidays. Bob, Phil, Judy and Betty decide to help the General out by putting on a big show in the barn to generate some business for the Inn. The next day the chorus kids all start to arrive and rehearsals begin. Susan confides in Bob that she is worried about her grandfather and Bob reassures her. Betty overhears how wonderful Bob is to Susan and they kiss. Bob is keen to get a large audience in to support their show so calls up his old pal Ralph Sheldrake at Ed Sullivan show and they hatch a plot to get the men from the General’s old division to come to the show at the barn. Martha, who has a habit of listening in to the phone conversations, misunderstand the message and thinks that Bob and Ralph want to take over the Inn. Martha tells Betty her fears about Bob. At the same time Betty receives an invitation to play a solo gig at the prestigious Regency Room back in New York. Betty confronts Bob about his plan to take over but the misunderstanding continues and Betty vows to take the Regency job. Meanwhile Judy gets feed up with Phil flirting with the chorus girls and General Waverly finds all the unpaid bills for the Inn that Martha has been hiding from him. The act ends with a big number from the Barn show.

Act Two begins with another big tap number from the Barn show. Martha explains to the General that she was trying to help him with the bills, Betty packs for New York and Judy is fed up with Phil not committing to a relationship. Martha, Judy & Betty get together to try and understand the men in their lives. Back in rehearsals the Haynes girls are nowhere to be seen so Phil and Bob perform their sisters number themselves! Eventually Bob discovers that Betty has left for New York and goes after her. He sees her perform at the Regency Room and tries to make her understand he is an honourable man. When she meets Ralph, and realises he is not a business man she starts to piece the puzzle together and realises that Bob is telling her the truth. Bob appears on the Ed Sullivan show to get the men of General Waverly’s division to come to Vermont for the show. Back at the Inn rehearsals continue and Susan performs to try and win a part in the show. As show time arrives Betty returns from New York and apologises to Bob for misjudging him they express their love for each other and embrace. The General arrives at the show and is moved by the fact his old division have all arrived to support him. The all join is rendition of White Christmas.

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Director - Carolyn Floyd

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Musical Director - Chris Winslet