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A 'White Christmas' hits the stage at the Cumming Playhouse


Irving Berlin's musical at the Cumming Playhouse Nov. 21- Dec. 15



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Ben Bryant as "Bob Wallace" and J.D. Touchton as "Phil Davis" prepare for the first act. CAITLYN WALTERS/Staff. (click for larger version)

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Lauren Gentile as "Betty Haynes" and Ashley Cahill as "Judy Haynes" rehearse their dance routine. CAITLYN WALTERS/Staff. (click for larger version)
November 12, 2013
CUMMING, Ga. – The Cumming Playhouse sets the stage for Irving Berlin's musical, "White Christmas," from Nov. 21 to Dec. 15.

Director Kathy Larsen said the 25-member cast has been preparing for this "true American Christmas classic" since the beginning of September.

She said even though this is the first time most of them have worked together, they make for a strong cast.

"It's a fantastic cast, and I couldn't be happier," Larsen said. "They are talented, have wonderful dispositions and they are just lovely to each other."

An impressive and versatile cast is essential to perfect this heartwarming musical, which is an adaption featuring 17 Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake.

In the musical, veterans Bob Wallace, played by Ben Bryant, and Phil Davis, played by J.D. Touchton, have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II.

With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander.

"This musical is about family, joy, counting your blessings and it's absolutely about love," Larsen said. "This is a really great thing to do with the whole family because people of all ages can watch and enjoy."

The production includes flashy choreography and well known standards the audience will hum along to, like "Blue Skies," "I Love a Piano" and the perennial favorite, "White Christmas."

"The music, if you listen, is just fantastic, and the tap dancing numbers are to die for," said production team member Sheila Biales.

Larsen said the team adapted the choreography from the Broadway musical to accommodate the cast and the amount of space available on stage.

Producer Kathy Russell said the stage may be small, but she is confident the team and cast have come together to pull off something "phenomenal."

For more information, visit www.playhousecumming.com.

IF YOU GO:

What: White Christmas, the musical

Where: The Cumming Playhouse, 101 School Street,

When: Nov. 21 through Dec. 15; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinee shows on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Info: Visit www.playhousecumming.com.

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