The Arlington High School Drama Department will be starting the holiday season off in style with their staging of Irving Berlin’s timeless musical White Christmas during the first two weekends in December. Originally produced as a Hollywood movie, and later adapted for Broadway, White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz friends helping a buddy who’s down on his luck by putting together a variety show in a picturesque Vermont inn. Along the way, they find girls, romance, and old acquaintances. Full of dancing, familiar tunes, comedy and some of the best tunes ever written, such as "Happy Holiday," "Sisters," "Blue Skies," and the unforgettable title song, Irving Berlin's White Christmas will delight the entire family.
The show is directed by Arlington High School Drama teacher Scott Moberly, choreographed by Arlington School of Dance owner Becky Oesch, with musical direction provided by Haller Middle School teacher Jeff Swanson. “This collaboration really speaks to how involved in musical theater events the town of Arlington is,” said Moberly, “we are blessed with talent and enthusiasm, in both our students and the adults who mentor them.”
Seniors Caroline Rensel and Jordan Tanguay play the fun loving couple Judy and Phil, with juniors Kelsey Ghirardo and Nathan Braaten stepping out as Betty and Bob. They are supported by a large cast of singers, dancers and actors who bring the thrills and spills of staging a variety show, and the timeless beauty of Vermont in winter right onto the stage.
“We always strive for entertainment with our productions,” said Moberly, “but as a teacher, I also try to make participating and watching our plays educational for all students in Arlington. Although this show is a classic, and most of our students will recognize many of the songs in White Christmas, it’s good to remember that the Hollywood productions came out before anyone under the age of 18 was born. I suspect a lot of students have never seen the original movies, and have little knowledge of life in the early 1950s.”
Irving Berlin’s songs have withstood the test of time and many will be familiar to young and old alike. “The songs will also have a contemporary feel to them,” said musical director Jeff Swanson, who is rehearsing both the vocal cast and the orchestra. “The orchestrations by Larry Blank and vocal arrangements by Bruce Pomahac add modern elements that are challenging to produce. You can expect lots of jazz elements and complicated harmonies in this production.”
White Christmas will be performed at 7 pm on December 3, 4, 10, and 11 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd, Arlington. A matinee is scheduled for 1 pm on December 11. Tickets are $9 (seniors and students), and $12 (adults). Reserved seating tickets may be purchased in advance on-line at http://www.byrnesperformingarts.org/, or at the door 45 minutes before show time.
For more information and to schedule interviews and photo shoots, please contact Scott Moberly at email@example.com, 360-618-6300.