Reviewed by Jodie Crawford
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
White Christmas takes us on the journey of two American soldier pals Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who served under General Henry Waverley in World War Two, from their days entertaining their fellow GIs in Germany to their lives as entertainers on the stage in America some ten years later, as the famous duo Wallace and Davis.
Taking in a show in a run down club in New York City, they encounter the Haynes sisters, who just happen to be the sisters of an old GI buddy. Phil Davies is instantly enamoured with Judy Haynes and together they hatch a plan to travel (as a four) to Vermont without the knowledge of sister Betty and Bob Wallace: who seemingly clash at their first encounter.
The train journey is a riot of song about snow – delivered marvellously by the very talented company. Once they all arrive in Vermont there is great disappointment from the fellow train passengers about the lack of snow and they turn right around and leave. Leaving the Inn void of guests.
It is a great surprise to Phil and Bob to discover that the inn is owned by the one and only General Waverley from their army days – the general is having financial difficulties and from here a plan is hatched. Bob and Phil will put on the show of shows on Christmas Eve to help raise cash for the General and give his business the boost it needs.
Things do not go according to plan for Bob though when concierge Martha (played by the incredible Sally Ann Triplett) misinterprets a telephone message from an old pal and relays the mixed up message to Betty. Betty flees and it’s up to Bob to find her and make sure the show goes on.
This show has all the ingredients of a Broadway show- it’s filled with glitz and glamour and big band numbers. The ensemble are exquisite – absolute masters of every dance genre that they perform- from jazz to ballet to tap and more! The costumes and the choreography are exceptional. The dresses are timeless and clearly no expense has been spared in the wardrobe department.
The cast is lead by Matthew James (Bob), Dan Burton (Phil), Jessica Daley (Betty) and Emily Langham (Judy) each of who are sublime. They have so much chemistry and stage presence- the dynamic between the four works just beautifully. Credit to the casting director.
Dan Burton plays the wise guy, joker incredibly well and he dances with grace and effortlessness. Jessica Daley wows the crowd with her entrancing vocals, drawing us in to her heartbreak through her stunning performance of “love, you didn’t do right by me”.
Sally Ann Triplett, who plays Martha, is outstanding in every way and had the entire audience eating out of her hand from her first scene. She is comic, charming, vulnerable and engaging, and can she move? Well, yes she sure can!
This show has real heart and shouldn’t be missed. Not a fan of Christmas shows? Then never fear this isn’t really about Christmas, this is about love, friendship and camaraderie.
The Manchester crowd absolutely loved this show, the entire theatre was on its feet before the last number had even begun. It’s an absolute must see!.