“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at the Orpheum Theatre: Christmas with a side of cheese, please.


Cheese sauce usually makes everything better, like nachos, broccoli and macaroni – and all Christmas movies have their fair share of cheese factor, but sometimes there comes a point where too much cheese can overwhelm everything. Having never seen the movie White Christmas, I was pretty open-minded about the musical. I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing, singing and costumes, and even the cliche storyline, but at times it was just too much.

The show started off great- a strong orchestra, a funny duo, and cool set transitions, but it seemed as if something was missing. Later on, I grew to love the duo of Phil (Jeremy Benton) and Bob (James Clow)- both had lovely voices, but Bob seemed stiff, as if he was uncomfortable. This stiffness only seemed to progress, which threw the show off course for me. This seemed to be the missing piece. Bob and Phil worked well with each other and Phil and Judy (Kaitlyn Davidson) seemed a likely pair, but watching Bob and Betty (Trista Moldovan) was like watching a person try to lick their own elbow– it just didn’t work.

From green tap shoes to fluffy dresses, the dance and costuming was absolutely phenomenal. Every step was in sync, every arm was evenly held. The dancers were so graceful, It looked as if they were ice skating. From classic ballroom dancing to an amazing tap dance at the top of the second act (I Love a Piano) the dancers owned the show.

As for the storyline, I can handle most cliché romantic comedies, but that’s in the privacy of my own home. DuringWhite Christmas I found myself laughing at the parts you weren’t supposed to. While Bob and Betty were singing their hearts out in Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me / How Deep Is the Ocean, I was talking to Bob in my head– “Betty is in New York, Bob, and you’re in Vermont, it’s really not that far, man.” Call me a cynic, but you have to admit it’s a bit absurd to compare New York and Vermont to the moon and the ocean.

Overall, I enjoyed White Christmas. I wouldn’t want to see it again, but I can appreciate the talent it took to produce a giant show that seemed as if it could have been lifted right out of the movie theatre. Although cheese sauce makes most things better, cheese sauce alone is not quite enough. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas with a little more substance, and without so much cheese.