Before They Woo in San Francisco's White Christmas, Acting Couple Will Wed

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23 Sep 2005

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat, who'll play the Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby-originated roles in the San Francisco staging of White Christmas this year, will marry in Manhattan Oct. 2 — the day before their first rehearsal.



It's a working honeymoon with a theme that might be "Count Your Blessings," as the Irving Berlin song goes. This is the first time the acting couple will play opposite each other in romantic lead roles. (They met in the Ford's Theatre production of 1776 in 2003; he was Richard Henry Lee, she was Martha Jefferson.)

In the Walter Bobbie staging of the film-inspired Berlin musical, Rowat, a Canadian-born actor whose resume includes Ontario's Shaw Festival, Broadway's Dracula and Beauty and the Beast and the national tours of Les Misérables and Beauty, will play Bob Wallace opposite Baldwin's Betty Haynes.

Baldwin's Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Full Monty and Wonderful Town. She was Helen Hayes Award-nominated for playing Nellie Forbush in Arena Stage's South Pacific and is often heard in the New Voices Collective's American-song concerts at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space.

Rehearsals for the San Francisco company of White Christmas begin Oct. 3 in New York City (the Los Angeles and Boston companies start rehearsals two weeks later in Manhattan). Previews in San Francisco begin Nov. 9 at the Orpheum Theatre toward an opening night of Nov. 13. The run is scheduled through Dec. 31.

Playbill.com learned that White Christmas in San Fran will also star Mark Ledbetter (as Phil Davis, the Danny Kaye role) and Shannon O'Bryan (as Judy Haynes, the Vera Ellen role). They are veterans of last year's hit San Francisco tryout staging of the newly created work, which is blossoming into a hot commercial franchise in three major markets.

The score includes such Berlin classics as "Let Yourself Go," "Sisters," "Blue Skies," "Count Your Blessings," the title song and more.