Review by: Paul Towers, 14/12/18
White Christmas By Irving Berlin (lyrics & music) and David Ives & Paul Blake (book)
Made at Curve, directed by Nikolai Foster, choreographed by Stephen Mears
Curve 6 December to 13 January 2019
“a sure fire festive winner.”
There was a full house for tonight’s Press Night of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on a suitably frosty Friday. Like Gershwin’s Crazy For You earlier this year an Irving Berlin score is very distinctive and a guaranteed toe tapper, especially in the expert hands of Curve’s Nikolai Foster. Combine that with the set design skills of Michael Taylor and Stephen Mears’ distinctive choreography and Curve has a sure fire festive winner.
White Christmas is the 1950’s version of a jukebox musical, a series of songs (usually by a single songwriter) gathered together with a tenuous story. Except in the old movies there was a little more attention given to the story.
White Christmas is the story of a couple of ex soldiers who form a double act singing and dancing after the war. They are at a club one night and spot a singing sister act, The Sisters. Bob Wallace (Danny Mac, who still can’t keep his clothes on!) is immediately smitten with Betty Haynes (Emma Williams) while Phil Davis (Dan Burton) falls for Judy Haynes (Monique Young). In true musical fashion the path of true love doesn’t run smooth. They end up in a remote ski resort (unusually devoid of snow this particular year) and decide to put on a show to try and attract punters to the resort. Of course, in the end, it all works out and the boys pair up with the girls and live happily ever after as the snow finally falls over the mountainside and the entire cast sing White Christmas.
This is a hugely festive, feel-good show with an eye catching number of costumes and a huge set that slides in and out, up and down making full use of Curve’s extensive capabilities. The cast of 27 plus 13 Curve Young Company performers fill the stage with typically extravagant dance routines which are obviously influenced by Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, Busby Berkley and other great Broadway choreographers.
Some of the best lines belong to Wendy Mae Brown as Martha Watson who plays the concierge of the ski lodge. She also has a belter of a singing voice.
Judging by tonight’s full house there will be very few tickets before Christmas. Try for the New Year.
Full details available at www.curveonline.co.uk
First published on Western Gazette