Monday, December 15, 2014
HOLIDAY INN and WHITE CHRISTMAS: A SONG TO REMEMBER By Polly Guerin
Irving Berlin’s deeply sentimental timeless classic, “White Christmas” was the first time a song inspired a movie. It was called, “Holiday Inn,” and brought about the first pairing of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, yet Astaire would come at a high price. As a concession to satisfy the studio, they agreed to cast lackluster (Really!!!) leading women, virtually unknown: Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale. Here’s the scoop!!!
In the winter of 2013, Universal Stage Productions, the theater division of the renowned motion picture studio, invited the Goodspeed Opera House, the quintessential producer of musicals, to be the development home of the stage adaptation of the wonderful tuneful film. By the way, be assured you are in for a treat, Goodspeed knows musicals better than any other in the world.
PollyTalk can attest to that!!! I recently saw Goodspeed’s production of “Holiday Inn” on their jewel-box stage and I was transported to the fictional town of Midville, Connecticut, yet the production felt like a full-scale Broadway show. This jolly romp and spirited cast of very talented, high kicking performers, gave an energetic and memorable performance that really set the tone for the holidays, while the singers regaled us with sentimental charm.
According to Joshua S. Ritter, Goodspeed Education & Library Director’s program notes, “Our quaint surroundings share some resemblance to the Connecticut sanctuary sought by Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) in Holiday Inn.” Of course, dear readers, Mr. Ritter is referring to East Haddam, a gem of a storybook town itself. What better place for Holiday Inn?
The Goodspeed production of Holiday Inn has been produced with original format, and in addition to the memorable White Christmas, several scenes include the celebration of major holidays with all time favorite Berlin songs including: Let’s Take an Old Fashioned Walk; I can’t Tell a Lie; You’re Easy to Dance With and Be Careful, It’s My Heart---all featured in Goodspeed’s Holiday Inn.
*****For HOLIDAY INN: Contact Goodspeed Opera House Box Office, 800.873.8668 for a schedule of performances through December 28 and there is an additional matinee on December 22 at 2 PM. Or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Goodspeed: The Goodspeed Opera House had endured as a majestic presence on the Connecticut River since it was built in 1876 by William H. Goodspeed, a shipping and banking magnate and avid theater lover. Goodspeed’s history goes back to its opening night on October 24, 1877, when a repertory group presented the comedy Charles II and the farces Box and Cox and Turn Him Out. It is interesting to note that featured performers of the day were brought to East Haddam by steamboat, many directly from theaters in New York. Goodspeed’s roster of musicals continues throughout the year. Follow their show schedule on goodspeed.org.
******For Theater and Schedules for the film White Christmas contact fathomevents.com
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