Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 5, 2010

OTP performs 'White Christmas' through Nov.

TRAVERSE CITY — The much-loved movie "White Christmas" is a holiday viewing tradition in many households.

This November, patrons can see the film come alive on stage when the Old Town Playhouse performs the musical version of the 1954 movie that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" opens tonight, Nov. 5, and runs through Nov. 27 at the Traverse City community theater.

"It's a Christmas classic. I watch it every year. I've been watching it since I was a kid. I wanted to be Danny Kaye when I was a kid," said Playhouse Executive Director Phil Murphy, who is directing the show.

While the movie is a longtime favorite, the stage musical premiered only about five years ago. It follows the same story line as the movie, introducing two entertainers who stage a show to help save a struggling Vermont inn operated by their former World War II general. Featured Berlin songs include "Happy Holidays," "Blue Skies," "Count Your Blessings" and "White Christmas." The Playhouse production features plenty of tap dance and several numbers not included in the original movie, Murphy said.

"The dancing, I think, will stand out," he said.

Kate Botello plays the big, broad, loud, "old-school theatrical-type" character Martha Watson, who in the movie is called Emma. Botello performs "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy," a song she calls "the song of a lifetime."

"It's just a joy to sing, and it's so much fun," she said.

Like the movie, the musical is "old-fashioned" and "warm-hearted," Botello said. Like others in the Playhouse production, actor Phil Callighan, who plays Bob Wallace, has fond memories of watching the movie with his family.

"It's a lot of fun and the musical version is a little bit different from the movie, but the core of the story is still there. And, they've put in a lot more musical numbers," Callighan said.

Murphy said he's had "nightmares" over the show because he feels a responsibility to the material and music he loves so much.

"I want it to be solid. I want it to be one of the best things that the Playhouse has done," he said. "I want it to be, ultimately, a Christmas card for everybody."

Adults tickets are $25. For more information, visit the website or call the box office at 947-2210.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl