Christmas came a little early at the Civic Center Music Hall as a nearly sold-out crowd rewarded the “Irving Berlin's White Christmas” cast with a standing ovation Tuesday for delivering a lively performance filled with hot hoofing, beloved standards and plenty of holiday razzmatazz.
Based on the 1954 Hollywood classic “White Christmas,” the musical focuses on two World War II and, later, showbiz buddies, Bob Wallace (a song and dance straight man originally played on screen by Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (a playboy prankster portrayed in the movie by Danny Kaye).
The show opens in 1944 somewhere on the Western front. Bob (James Clow), Phil (David Elder) and their pal Ralph Sheldrake (Tony Lawson) are entertaining the troops before their beloved leader, Gen. Henry Waverly (Joseph Costa), bids his troops farewell to return to the U.S. for medical care.
Ten years later, Bob and Phil are showbiz stars ready for a vacation in Florida after an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” when “lover boy” Phil drags a rather dour Bob to a nightclub featuring the sister act Betty (Trista Moldovan) and Judy (Meredith Patterson) Haynes. Phil and Judy are immediately smitten as they expertly dance and sing “The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing,” but wary Bob and Betty are left cold despite the heat generated by the dancing pair.