23 November 2010 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews A big sloppy dollop of Christmas cheer has arrived at the Sunderland Empire in the guise of White Christmas. The stage version of the classic Irving Berlin musical fable has all the ingredients needed: classic songs (White Christmas, Sisters, Count Your Blessings), brilliant dance routines, numerous large sets, sumptuous costumes, first rate cast and snow falling on the audience at the finale. But somehow the show as a whole does not quite live up to the sum of its parts; this could be down to a lack of chemistry between the leading players, which may come as the run progresses. That having been said this is still a great night out and an ideal alternate to pantomimes.
The cast is headed by
Tom Chambers (Strictly Come Dancing and Holby City) as Bob Wallace and Adam Cooper, who has played the part of Phil Davis previously, Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes from Dallas) brings General Waverly to life. The part of Susan Waverly is shared by three young local girls, but on press night Millie Thornton, making her stage debut, played the role and she stole every scene she appeared in.
The story sticks closely to the classic movie version, opening with Bob and Phil in the army front line on Christmas Eve 1944, under the control of General Waverly. By 1954 they are leading entertainers and conned in to seeing Betty and Judy Haynes in cabaret before heading off to Miami for Christmas. The guys of course fall for the girls and instead of heading South to the heat, Phil puts Bob on the train to Vermont. It is not long before he discovers the girls are already on board and realises he has been tricked. On arrival they find not only a heat wave, but where they are staying is owned and run by General Waverly and in financial meltdown.
Bob calls in a few favours to ensure the General fortunes are changed with the help of his ex army pals, but Betty misunderstands a message for Bob and believes he is trying to take advantage of the General and runs off to New York. Bob of course follows her and when she realises the truth heads back to Vermont for the feel good happy ending.
There is no doubting audiences of all ages will love this lavish stage adaptation of one of the greatest musicals of all time.
- by John Dixon Related Content Back to Northeast Homepage
Score Comment Date A lack lustre performance which needed abit of Christmas magic. We were hoping for a spectacular Christmas performance but unfortunately it failed to deliver, even our son, who loves the theatre, was only mildly entertained. Tom Chambers' performance was particularly disappointing, his vocal capabilities were lacking as was his stage presence. There was also a lack of chemistry with the leading cast members. Disappointing. - Geri, Dave & Family 03 Jan 11
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