Sooner Theatre presenting 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas'

Sooner Theatre celebrates the holidays with “Irving Berlin's White Christmas.”
BY JOHN BRANDENBURG Published: November 27, 2012
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Cast as the inn's concierge who hides bills from the general she may be in love with, Cindy Hanska exploited an Ethel Merman-like voice and take-no-prisoners delivery in “Let Me Sing and Be Happy.” Hanska was almost equally memorable, leading the Haynes sisters in a humorous song that proudly proclaims that “Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun.”

Bryan Partridge had some good moments, too, as Ralph Sheldrake, an old Army buddy of Wallace and Davis who becomes a producer for the Ed Sullivan television show. Abby Hesselroth was charming as the general's young granddaughter visiting from California who soon forsakes her history paper for show business to try her own version of “Let Me Sing and Be Happy.”

Shane Pruitt was comically hyperactive as a stage manager — a fact exploited by Max Stephens as a laconic Vermont type, who answers “yep” to his urgent requests, until he gets the show business bug himself.

One of the best scenes, however, was an ensemble number in which passengers on a train to Vermont pantomimed snow falling — only to be told the temperature was 79 degrees when they arrived.

All of which seemed to prove that anticipation of a “White Christmas” can almost be more satisfying than the fact, when it finally happens. Directed by Lisa Fox with costumes by Kris Ocker, choreography by Chris Allen, and music direction by Les Downs, the production is highly recommended.

— John Brandenburg

THEATER REVIEW

‘Irving Berlin's White Christmas'

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 9.

Where: Sooner Theatre, 101 E Main, Norman.

Information: 321-9600 or www.soonertheatre.com.

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