White Christmas – SD Theatre Examiner by E.H. Reiter
by E.H. Reiter
There are some things that are the signal that the holidays have come around, depending on when you want to start celebrating. For some that means fall with the return of Pumpkin Spice Latte, for others it’s prepping the turkey, but for those that love the winter holidays it’s the return of the holiday musicals in San Diego. For the fourth year, “White Christmas” has returned to San Diego Musical Theatre where it has quickly established itself as an excellent holiday tradition.
Following the plot of the movie musical of the same name, we start with Bob Wallace (David Engel) and Phil Davis (Jeffery Scott Parsons) entertaining the troops at Christmas in 1945. Fast forward 10 years and we find them as the leading song and dance team on Broadway and mounting their next show in Florida. Before they depart they go see a sister act for their new show, who also happens to be the sisters of an old Army buddy, Judy (Tro Shaw) and Betty (Allison Spratt Pearce).
As luck, and some manipulating between Phil and Judy would have it, Bob finds himself at an inn that is run by their former General who needs a morale and an attendance boost to keep it from failing. Along the way, the two couples find love, although Betty and Bob find it less quickly than Phil and Judy.
As Bob, Engel has a great voice and is a true song and dance man himself as he sings and dances his way through this show. Pearce, as Betty has a lovely voice and her renditions of “Love You Didn’t Do Right By Me” is a stellar torch song. Together, their duet of “How Deep is the Ocean” is a highlight.
Parsons and Shaw, as Phil and Judy, are both strong singers and even better dancers. If you like tap dancing, this is the pair (ad the show) for you as there are multiple tap numbers throughout the show.
The rest of the company is also strong, as they sing and dance their way with the dynamic duos. I was happy to see the return of Claire Scheper as the General’s granddaughter Susan, her song of “Let me Sing and be Happy” is sure to bring the house down every night.
All of this singing and dancing is supported by the fantastic 22-piece band, led by Don Le Master. The band placement on the stage adds a nice big band touch to the show which plays well into the era.
So add “White Christmas” to your seasonal traditions – it will definitely put you in the holiday frame of mind!
“White Christmas” is playing at the Spreckels Theatre through December 6th. For tickets and show information go to www.SDMT.org