Tuesday night brought me the distinct pleasure of attending opening night of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. A couple weeks ago, the nice folks at The Ordway contacted me wondering if I might like to attend. I think my response was something along the lines of “Are you kidding me? I would LOVE to attend!”
White Christmas has been my favorite movie since I was about seven years old. I wanted nothing more than to BE Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen). Two years ago, when White Christmas made its debut at The Ordway, I convinced Husband to make that my Christmas present. I had never been to a big show because I didn’t feel like it was a luxury I could afford. Four friends and I went out to dinner and then took in the show. And let me tell you—OH. MY. GOODNESS. was it worth every penny! We even ended up splurging on two tickets for his parents as a Christmas gift that year. They loved it, too.
So when I got the chance to attend again this year, and they suggested it would be a great family tradition (oh my YES!), I knew that in my particular family it would not make a great tradition. See, Husband isn’t a big fan of The Musicals. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a tradition among friends! I took the three other ladies who are part of my church Small Group instead, and boy did we have a great time! It was a fantastic evening. We ate at nearby Pazzaluna (more on that another day), took in the show, and came out to a light snowfall. How stinking perfect is that? If you’ve seen the movie, you understand… The photo above (thanks nice random lady for taking it for us, and Amy for sending it to me!) shows us standing in beautiful Rice Park outside after the show.
Here’s a little more about the show itself:
A bunch of my favorite songs from the movie were featured: “Sisters,” “Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” and of course “White Christmas.” But there are new songs as well that make it interesting and different and not exactly like watching the movie, which would be kind of a drag.
My favorite numbers were “I Love A Piano” (that takes some serious abdominal strength) and the finale “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” The friend I was sitting next to said she heard someone behind the closing curtain shout “We did it!” and that was what clued me in to it being opening night. Otherwise I would have conjectured they’d been performing it in front of an audience for weeks. It was polished. The set transitions were remarkably seamless and the costumes divine. It made me want to live in that era, just like the movie does.
The Ordway dresses herself up best at Christmastime, and the atmosphere is so cheery you can’t help but be upbeat. I am pretty sure I had a silly grin plastered on my face for the duration of the show and quite a while afterward.
One more fun fact: Kristen Beth Williams played Betty Haynes so deliciously that it almost made me want to be her as much as Judy Haynes (played equally as well by Mara Davi)!
So if you’re interested in starting a great family tradition that won’t need returning and won’t take up space in your home, go to White Christmas! It runs now through January 3, 2009.