Dreaming of a "White Christmas" in Dallas
The story goes that Irving Berlin, contracted by Paramount to write a
series of songs for 1942's "Holiday Inn," finished the song "White Christmas" and proclaimed it was "the best song anybody
ever wrote." Like many Hollywood legends, the accuracy of the story is questionable. What isn't questionable is the enduring
popularity of that most lovable of Christmas songs, which brings Berlin's supposed comment pretty close to the truth. The
song was so popular that it spawned a movie of the same name several years later, and that film spawned a 2004 Broadway show
that is every bit as endearing as its inspiration. 2013 saw that very show brought back to life - in Dallas.
Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" is the story of two Army buddies, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who become showbiz partners
after the war. Following their hearts, as well as a talented duo known as the Haynes sisters, they wind up at a lodge in Vermont.
As fortune would have it, the lodge is owned by their former Army commander. Things get complicated when it is revealed that
the lodge may be closed down due to a lack of finances. Pairing up with the Haynes sisters, Wallace and Davis plot to put
on a show that will attract the big money crowds and save the lodge forever. The stage adaptation of the movie adds a few
surprises, including a soulful rendition of Berlin's timeless hit, "Blue Skies," and the sprightly "I Love a Piano."
James Clow brought his many years of Broadway experience to the role of Bob Wallace. Mr. Clow's impressive resume includes
stints with such Broadway smashes as "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "Peter Pan." Filling the role of Phil Davis was David
Elder, a veteran of stage and screen, whose credits include "42nd Street," "Once Upon a Mattress" and "Damn Yankees." Mr.
Elder had some pretty big shoes to fill, as the role of Phil Davis was so expertly handled by Danny Kaye in the film, but
Mr. Elder owned the part. Trista Moldovan, who played Christine in the 10,000th performance of "The Phantom of the Opera,"
and Meredith Patterson, who is featured on the original cast recording of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," shined as Betty
and Judy Haynes, respectively.
David Ives and Paul Blake wrote the book. Ives is the author
of "All in the Timing," "Venus in Fur," "The Liar" and "Time Flies," among other hits both on and off Broadway. Blake, a veteran
theater producer, lent his producing talents to "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical." He was the book writer for "Roman Holiday,"
which enjoyed runs on both sides of the Atlantic.
Work Light Productions, a company dedicated to
bringing great entertainment to the public, brought Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" to Dallas with tremendous success.
original film on which the show is based was the first to be shot in Paramount's own widescreen "VistaVision." Spirits were
always up on the set, thanks to co-star Danny Kaye's antics both on and offscreen. Kaye was such a cut-up on the set of the
film that many takes had to be reshot because off his fellow actors' inability to keep a straight face. Some of Bing Crosby's
unscripted laughs were actually left in.
White Christmas Dallas enjoyed a successful run in Dallas
throughout December 2013. A show enjoyed by so many isn't likely to disappear in Dallas, so keep an eye out for more shows