Previews for the limited engagement of the splashy musical comedy begin Nov. 14 at the Marquis Theatre toward a Nov. 23 opening. The musical, which has tap-happy choreography by Randy Skinner (42nd Street), has already been seen in hit seasonal engagements (since 2004) in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, Boston and St. Paul.
Pairing up as they have in other markets are Falsettos and Love! Valour! Compassion! vet Bogardus and Into the Woods alumna O'Malley as Bob and Betty (they were together in Boston in 2005 and in St. Paul in 2006), and Denman (The Producers) and Patterson (42nd Street) as Phil and Judy (they created the roles in the 2004 San Francisco world premiere). Dean and Mansur play Gen. Waverly and Martha (roles they originated in 2004), who run a New England inn that becomes the central setting for the story of Army vets and showbiz pals Phil and Bob teaming up with a sister act to save the inn at Christmastime.
It's all based on the 1954 Paramount motion picture that was punctuated by Berlin songs including "Sisters," "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing," "Count Your Blessings," the title song and more. For the stage show, which has a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, additional songs from the Berlin trunk have been added ("I Love a Piano," "How Deep Is the Ocean?," "Falling Out of Love," and more).
The cast will include 33 performers. The limited run continues to Jan. 4, 2009. If the show is a financial success, or points toward future success, expect a return visit in the coming years, pending theatre availability.
According to the producers, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz buddies, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn and find their perfect mates in the bargain — sister act Betty and Judy Haynes. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, the musical promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family." Additional casting will be announced shortly.
The musical is produced by Kevin McCollum, John Gore, Tom McGrath, Paul Blake, The Producing Office, Dan Markley, Sonny Everett and Broadway Across America in association with Paramount Pictures.
Director Bobbie is a Tony Award winner for directing Chicago.
The creative team includes set designer Anna Louizos (In the Heights, Avenue Q), costume designer Carrie Robbins (Grease, Over Here), lighting designer Ken Billington (Chicago, The Drowsy Chaperone, Annie), sound designer Acme Sound Partners (In the Heights, Spamalot), orchestrator Larry Blank (The Drowsy Chaperone), vocal and dance arranger Bruce Pomahac and music supervisor Rob Berman. The stage production is based on the Paramount Pictures film written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank.
This Bobbie-directed production of White Christmas plays during the holiday season each year in a different city, "bringing the spirit of love, charity, and song around the country for all to enjoy."
Ticket prices are $66.50, $91.50 and $121.50 (including $1.50 facility fee), and are available now exclusively to American Express card members through Sept. 17 by visiting www.broadway.yahoo.com.
Beginning Sept. 21, tickets will be available to the general public through Ticketmaster by calling (212) 307-4100, online at www.ticketmaster.com. The Marquis Theatre box office (1535 Broadway) will open in October.
For group sales details and pricing, call The Group Sales Box Office at (800) 223-7565 or visit www.bestofbroadway.com.
The number of performances per week varies to meet anticipated holiday-season demand.
Beginning Nov. 14, the show will play the following unique performance schedule per week:
Week of Nov. 10
Friday & Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM.
Week of Nov. 17
Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday at 7 PM, Sunday evening at 6 PM (Opening Night), Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2 PM.
Week of Nov. 24
Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM.
Weeks of Dec. 1 and Dec. 8
Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday & Sunday at 7 PM, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM.
Week of Dec. 15
Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday & Sunday at 7 PM, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM.
Week of Dec. 22
Monday, Friday & Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday & Sunday at 7 PM, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM. Dark on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.
Week of Dec. 29
Monday, Friday & Saturday at 8 PM, Tuesday at 7 PM, Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 PM, DARK - New Year's Eve & Day Dec. 31 & Jan. 1, 2009. Final performance: Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.
For more information visit www.whitechristmasthemusical.com.