Showbiz is at the heart of White Christmas. The popular 1954 movie has been translated into a charming stage musical that’s premiering locally at the Covedale Center this month. (A touring production passed through Cincinnati in November of 2009.) This backstage musical about good-hearted people putting on a show to save a struggling Vermont ski lodge is perfect for the Covedale’s mainstream audience, and the performance I attended at the converted movie theater, a Sunday matinee, had every one of its 400 seats filled with people loving what they were seeing.
The plot is the same as the classic film: Bob Wallace (Rick Kramer) and Phil Davis (Dan Doerger), a popular song-and-dance team, assemble a show to help out the inn’s owner, their one-time army division commander. They’ve been diverted from their trek to Miami to rehearse a new nightclub act when Phil decides to pursue a pair of gorgeous singing sisters, Betty and Judy Haynes (Elizabeth Beiting-Lipps and Allison Evans). Once Phil hijacks Bob to Vermont — where warm weather is making business even worse for the failing ski lodge — they use their connections to do a show and invite the soldiers from their old division to bring their families and fill the hall. Oh, by the way, the guys end up romantically involved with Betty and Judy.
White Christmas continues at the Covedale Center for Performing Arts through Dec. 23. Go here to read Rick Pender's full review.