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White Christmas (Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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White Christmas, that dazzling musical based on a book by David Ives and Paul Blake with Irving Berlin’s magical music and lyrics has returned to the Lowry to make your Christmas special. A winter wonderland glistens before you and with romance in the air and nostalgic old tunes, including the title song, you are transported  to a different world.

Lovely songs such as "The Best Things happen when you're Dancing" and "Counting my Blessings" and the title track, of course - leave a warm glow to make you forget how cold it is outside.
The thin plot is an excuse to take you to Vermont where two ex-soldiers, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis decide to put on a show to raise funds for their former army General who runs an inn there and has hit hard times. Whilst scouting for talent, the boys meet Betty Haynes, with whom Wallace falls desperately in love, and her sister Judy, coupled romantically with Davies, who do a singing sister act.

Claire Sweeney and Louise Bowden sing that well known song "Sisters" beautifully - taking you back in time with their glorious harmonies. Bob and Phil - Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in the 1954 film -  are, this time played by Steven Houghton and Paul Robinson. This double act do a great job - singing and tap dancing especially during "I Love a Piano."

We discover that Coronation Street favourite, Wendi Peters can sing, her Salford accent replaced with a Vermont drawl as inn landlady, Martha Watson,  and Dallas star Ken Kercheval does well as General Henry Waverley.

The live orchestra, wonderful chorus, lavish scenery and stylish costumes are the icing on the Christmas cake and White Christmas is a light-hearted way to start the festive season.

- Julia Taylor


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