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White Christmas

Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film

Plot Synopsis

After WW II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis leave the Army and team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. Phil sees that Bob is attracted to Betty, so he talks Bob into following the girls to their next show, at an inn in Vermont. When they get to the inn, it is practically empty because there is no snow, and they discover their former commander, General Waverly, is the lodge owner. They decide to stay to try to drum up some business for the general and a series of romantic mix-ups ensue.

Betty mistakenly thinks that Bob and Phil are taking advantage of the general's misfortune to get free publicity, so she is furious with them. Judy and Phil think that Betty is upset because she is afraid to fall in love so they pretend to get engaged in the hope of showing her that love is grand. Meanwhile Betty leaves for New York to get away from Bob.

The general's request to rejoin the army is denied so Bob goes on national TV to get the men from his World War II division to come to the inn and surprise the general on Christmas Eve. Betty sees the show and realizes Bob really is a good guy so she returns to Vermont. In a memorable finale, Bob and Betty declare their love, as do Phil and Judy. Everyone raises a glass, toasting to days being merry and bright and to all Christmases being white.

About the Show

White Christmas, the movie, was a 1954 Technicolor musical film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye that features the songs of Irving Berlin, including the titular "White Christmas". The film was directed by Michael Curtiz and co-starred Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

The film was notable as being the first to be produced and released in VistaVision, a wide-screen process that entailed using twice the surface area of standard 35mm film. This large-area negative was used to yield finer-grained standard-sized 35mm film prints.

White Christmas the musical is based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film. The musical, titled Irving Berlin's White Christmas premiered in San Francisco in 2004 and has played in various venues in the US and Canada, such as Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Detroit and Louisville. The musical toured the United Kingdom over the Christmas seasons of 2006-07 and 2007-08. It played a limited engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, which started in previews on November 14, 2008 running through January 4, 2009, for 53 performances and 12 previews and then returned for a limited engagement running from November 13, 2009 (previews) through January 3, 2010.

This all time classic will be onstage here in Ottawa, proudly presented by Orpheus. This is a "don't want to miss".


 

2011-2011 Production

White Christmas, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, OttawaNovember 11-20, 2011 - Centrepointe Theatre, Ottawa 

Award Nomination:

  • Linda Fournier-Brown earned a Capital Critics Circle 2011-12 Award Nomination in the Best director (community) category for her choreography for White XChristmas.

 

Cast of Characters

Liane Wray Betty Haynes
Erika Seguin Judy Haynes
Jeremy Crookston Bob Wallace
Darren Bird Phil Davis
Barb Seabright Moore Martha Watson
Gary Moore General Waverly, Quintet
Isabella Hearne Susan
Michael Kavcic Sheldrake, Chorus, GI
Ken Tucker Ezekiel, Chorus, GI, Quintet, Mr. Snoring Man, Understudy for Waverly
Spencer Donnelly Mike, Chorus, GI
Doug Thicke Jimmy, Chorus, GI
Sascha Wiessmeyer Tessie, Assistant Seamstress, Chorus, Quintet, Understudy for Betty
Cheryl Dubois Mrs. Snoring Man, Chorus, Understudy for Martha
Brendan Ryan Ed Sullivan Announcer, Quintet, Chorus, GI
Jim Morrison Train Conductor, Regency Room Announcer, Chorus, GI
Bryan Jesmer Dance Captain, Chorus, GI, Understudy Ezekiel
Susanna Atkinson Cigarette Girl, Chorus
Beverley Soifer Seamstress, Quintet, Chorus, Sheldrake's Assistant (Voice only)
John Litster Chorus , Scooter, GI
Sean Brennan Chorus, GI, Quintet

Dance Ensemble

 
Alexandra Isenor Dance Ensemble, Rhoda, Understudy for Judy
Tanya Chang Dance Ensemble, Rita
Sharye Marcus Dance Ensemble
Lucille Warren Dance Ensemble
Mary-Bernadette Belanger Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Loretta)
Jesse Gervais Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Mark), GI
Jasmine Lee Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Connie)
Bret Newton Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Jim), GI
Emilie O'Brien Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Debbie)
Alyssa Radulescu Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Gayle)
David Rowan Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Marty), GI
Carmella Wilson Dance Ensemble (Chorus Kid - Gloria)

 

Orchestra

Conductor

Murray Doggett

Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone

Mike Mullin, Mike Tremblay

Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone

Brian Boggs

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone

Dave Renaud

French Horn

Keith Estabrooks

Trumpet

Carmello Scaffidi, Nicholas Dyson

Trombone

Drum Hudson, Marlene Hudson

Keyboards

Greg Akseon, Paul Legault, John McGovern

Violin

Sophia Pan, Alla Perevalova

Cello

Steve SMith

Bass

Tom McMahon

Percussion

Pierre Huneault

Percussion

Pierre Huneault

Production Personnel

Artistic Director

Judy Follett-Johns

Musical Director

Murray Doggett

Choreographer(s)

Linda Fournier-Brown

Executive Producer

Steve Jones

Producer(s)

Brian Boggs

Stage Manager

Lena Triebe

Technical Director

Steve Jones

Set Designer

Tony Walker

Scenic Artist

Tony Walker

Costume Designer

Ann Ricard

Wardrobe Mistress

Tiara Wallace

Costume Production Manager

Wendy Blakey

Lighting Designer

John Solman

Sound Designer

John Cybanski

Make-Up Designer

Kerry Price

Hair Designer

Kerry Price

Master Carpenter

(Co) Peter Wilson & Tom Mordasewicz

Rehearsal Accompanist

Greg Akeson

Audition Accompanist(s)

Paul Legault

Production Assistant(s)

Heidi Tucker

Props Designer

(Co) Anne McGuire & Patti Mordasewicz

Properties Carpenter

N/A

Orpheus House Social Convenor

N/A

Theatre Food Coordinator

Alison Foley Howard

Assistants (A), Apprentices (@)

 

To Artistic Director

N/A

To Musical Director

N/A

To Stage Manager

N/A

To Choreographer

@France Bastien

Volunteer Coordinator

Maureen Speer

 

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Archive Information: Character Descriptions

BOB WALLACE - Late 20's to Mid 30's, he is a major singing star and the guiding force behind the song and dance team of Wallace and Davis. He wears his fame easily and is a born leader but has some trouble with social and romantic interactions. Despite his occasional gruffness, he is a deeply kind and principled man who is searching for his one true love.

  • A superb singer (Baritone) with a crooning style who moves very well.

PHIL DAVIS - Late 20's to Mid 30's, he is the fun loving, go-getting song and dance partner of the team of Wallace and Davis. An irrepressible clown, operator and incorrigible ladies' man who is determined to see his friend happy, even if it requires scheming and outright deception. He has boyish charm and sex appeal.

  • Strong dance and tap dancing needed-a song and dance comic performer.
  • Bari-tenor up to an "A" above the staff (A4)

BETTY HAYNES - Mid to Late 20's, she is the sensible, responsible half of the upcoming song and dance team, The Haynes Sisters. Destined to be a star in her own right, she is nonetheless hesitant to take the spotlight for herself. A woman of decent, upstanding principles, she is totally devoted to her younger sister and like Bob, she hides her yearning for true love under a protective shell.

  • A solid singer of quiet beauty and charm with a rich chest mix sound and in the lower soprano range.

JUDY HAYNES - Early 20's, she is the younger, more ambitious and slightly scheming Haynes sister. While wholesome and adorable she is also sexy and flirty-a winning charmer whom no man can resist.

  • Strong jazz and tap needed-a major song and dance performer with vocals in the alto range.

GENERAL HENRY WAVERLY - Late 50's to mid 60's, he is the retired US Army General, adjusting to returning to civilian life in post WW II America. Once a powerful leader, he now struggles to run an inn in Vermont. He remains a man of great principle and dignity but beneath his curmudgeonly military exterior lies a warm, compassionate man in need of family and love.

  • With the exception of one line, a non-singing role.

MARTHA WATSON - Late 40's to mid 60's, she was once a Broadway star and is now the general's housekeeper at the inn. Martha has a very dry, wry, wisecracking sense of humour. Bighearted but completely unsentimental, she runs the general's life in spite of his protestations. She is an irrepressible meddler but always for what she believes to be the other guys' best interests.

  • A winning, appealing character comedienne with a clarion belt voice. Alto

SUSAN WAVERLY - 9-13 years old to play stage age 9, Susan is the General's granddaughter. She is a loveable and outgoing "real" kid, very smart, wise beyond her years and cares deeply about her grandfather. Once bitten hard by the showbiz bug, she demonstrates everything that is winning in the ultimate child performer.

  • She must have an excellent belt voice and be able to move well. Alto

RALPH SHELDRAKE - Mid to late 30's, Ralph is an army buddy of Bob and Phil's and is now a major television executive with the Ed Sullivan show. He's a fast talking, New York professional.

  • Baritone

RITA and RHODA - Mid 20's to early 30's they are Bob and Phil's two star chorus girls. They are brash, sexy and fun although perhaps not the brightest stars in the sky.

EZEKIEL FOSTER - Mid 40's to late 50's he is the ultimate taciturn New Englander who helps out at the inn and takes life at a very slow pace. Could be double cast with the role of SNORING MAN.

MIKE - Mid 20's to late 30's is Bob and Phil's stage manager. Has a tendency to be over-dramatic and completely hysterical but will get things done. Never seen without his whistle and clipboard, which he uses to attempt to keep order. Could be doubled with the role of ED SULLIVAN ANNOUNCER

 

Ensemble Roles

TESSIE-Bob and Phil's extremely competent assistant. Could be double cast with the role of ASSISTANT

SEAMSTRESS.

JIMMY-The proprietor of "Jimmy's Back-room" a none-too-classy nightclub.

CIGARETTE GIRL, SNORING MAN, MRS. SNORING MAN, TRAIN CONDUCTOR, DANCE

CAPTAIN, SEAMSTRESS, ASSISTANT SEAMSTRESS, ED SULLIVAN ANNOUNCER, REGENCY

ROOM ANNOUNCER (offstage voice), SHELDRAKE'S SECRETARY (offstage voice)

 

Ensemble

Male and female ensemble of dancers. Early 20's to Mid 30's. Must be equally strong in ballroom, jazz and tap. Must sing very well. This is 1950's Hollywood movie musical dancing. Alternates/Understudies for principal roles could come from this ensemble. Over the course of the show, the ensemble will play Jimmy's Back-room club-goers, train passengers/Inn guests, chorus kids, and patrons of the Regency Room.

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