Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas “at the Buell Theatre

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Posted Fri, Dec 14, 2012

White Christmas playing at the Buell Theatre Nov. 23- Dec. 24.


DENVER-Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” playing at the Buell Theatre Nov. 23- Dec. 24 in the Denver Performing Arts Center, is a wonderful musical that encompasses all that is amazing about Christmas.

The performance stuns the audience with incredible sets displays and enthusiastic acting. From the opening scene to the heartwarming end, the audience is treated to an escape from the every day hustle and bustle of their own lives.

Director Kent Thompson took on the impossible job of living up to the high standard that Irving Berlin demanded of himself during his legendary 101-year life. It’s a lot of pressure to direct a play that was written by arguably one of the greatest song and play writers of the 20th century. However, Thompson pulls it off with class and beauty.

The musical centers around a pair of old World War II Army buddies who are a song and dance team that perform on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show. After performing on the show one night they head out on the town for some late night drinks. While out at a New York City night club they run into a pair of performing sisters who capture their wondering eyes.

The beautiful sisters, Judy and Betty Haynes, develop a relationship with the two veterans and begin a whirlwind adventure that takes them from New York City to a small Vermont Inn. The sisters, who were scheduled to perform a holiday gig at the Inn, end up getting snowed in with the two guys and romance ensues. Ironically, in a twist of fate, the two veteran’s war commander, General Waverly, owns the small Vermont Inn.

As the snow piles up and the guest become stuck at the Inn, the couples decide to put on a Christmas show for the stranded guests. As they struggle for last minute props and decorations, an enlightening story of family and forgiveness emerges.

With the couples beginning to fall in love as well as the ups and downs of a budding relationship, Gen. Waverly’s character begins to bloom too. In the beginning Gen. Waverly is a troubled war commander with little to no family life. His years’ of serving alongside his men during the war have left him incapable of connecting with his family. It isn’t until he watches his soldiers fall in love and his granddaughter’s strong love for him, that he begins to search within himself.

The most impressive acting job that was done was by Nicolas Dromard, who plays one of the main characters Phil Davis. (Pictured above left) Dromard steals nearly every scene. Luckily for the audience, he is on stage for almost the entire play. His enthusiasm for his character shows in spades. Hands down one of the best actors I’ve witnessed while at the Buell Theatre.

The most lovable character by far was Ezekiel Foster, played incredibly well by Randy Foster. Ezekiel, a helper at the cabin where the Inn is located at, can only be described as “Kramer-esc” -after the whimsical character on Seinfeld. His wry sense of humor leaves the audience in hysterics as his one-liners are delivered with incredible timing. Ezekiel’s character adds much needed comic relief from this otherwise nostalgic musical.

General Henry Waverly, played by Mike Hartman, also does a phenomenal job. The general is a harden war-vet who over the course of the play realizes that there is more to life than just the Army. Slowly but surely, he learns to become a soften man with the help of his granddaughter, played wonderfully by Tricia Moreland. Hartman reminds us that even though we have made mistakes in life, it’s never too late to change. His touching speech which ends the play, tempts even the most harden of men not to feel something.

Along with the actors on stage, a great deal of credit must be attributed to the dance choreographers, set designers and orchestra members. Without a doubt they truly bring the magic of Christmas alive. It’s so beautifully mastered that the audience must continually tell themselves that it isn’t a dream; it’s simply a well-orchestrated play. It truly allows its audience member that brief opportunity to escape their everyday lives, if only for a night. That is why I highly recommend taking your significant other to go see Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas “this winter. Get out and experience a wonderful time at the Buell Theatre and resurrect that nostalgia you once had as a child for Christmas. You won’t regret it, I promise.

About Spencer Hunt

Spencer is an avid fisherman during the summer months and a dedicated snowboarder during the winter. He lives in Wash Park and works for a Denver based Advertising firm

View all posts by Spencer Hunt

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