White Christmas Onstage (or the Misadventures of a Night at the Theater)

What a treat!  Java’s family is meeting out of town for Thanksgiving and close by is the national tour of White Christmas on stage.  Yea!  After an early dinner, Java inquires about going to the play. 

“Would anyone like to attend one of the greatest, funniest, feel-good, laugh-out-loud, family-friendly, classic movies adapted for the stage?!”

“Not really.”


“But have fun.” 

Maybe she oversold it. 

Slightly disappointed but undaunted, Java drives on alone still excited. She’s finally seeing a show that’s been on her wish list for years! Visions of footlights, dry ice, and stage snow dance in her head.

But what’s this? Nature calls and there is no relief for miles. The woods? No. She’s sure a stalker lurks behind every oak tree waiting to prey on people who drive to theaters without thinking of “going” before they go.

(Have you ever searched around for a rest stop forty minutes before the curtain rises near a strange town on a holiday weekend when everything is closed? Oh, you haven’t? Well, it’s no walk in the park. In fact you’re not walking at all; you’re running. Everywhere. And you hope not to lose your dignity on the way.)

Surging ahead, Java makes it to the theater before the overture. Victory! Searching for her seat, she notices a man sitting with his wife (sixty-ish), but flirting with two blondes (twenty-ish), with one seat between the two couples. That one is Java’s seat. She greets everyone. They all respond jovially, except the guy.

“Good evening,” Java says. 


“Guess I’m the cock blocker tonight,” she thinks to herself. At this point she has weathered imaginary tree stalkers, found relief where there is none, driven alone to a strange town and made it to her seat before the conductor can tap his wand thingy. 

“I’m here to watch White Christmas,” she muses. “No one can ruin my mood, not even the Scrooge in row A seat 4!”

Java smiles. He turns his back on her and his knees toward his companion for the rest of the evening. 

“Well, maybe I saved his marriage.”

They all watch the play; it is absolutely charming. A faithful stage adaptation of a film with a few changes for flavor. 

The bold, black, velvet gown with silver pin on the back that Rosemary Clooney wears during the “Love (You Didn’t Do Right By Me)” number, is recreated for the stage in long flowing black satin with a black and silver ruched satin train. It looks like this:
Well, it sort of looks like this.
Java internally squeals! The costume designer knows that rabid classic movie fans will be here with pen and paper, taking notes, and making sure everything is just right! 

“I love this play,” she says. 

The show is so lovable that everyone in the audience sings the title song at the end (even Scrooge).Grinning with the contentment that one has when a remake is in good hands, Java leaves town to return to her family. 

“What a great day,” she says to herself, smiling. Just then her car stalls on the side of the wooded highway and nature calls for the second time. 

Here we go again.


  1. What a hoot! Sorry about the misadventures, but what fun to see this musical. It's been a feature in NYC for a couple of years at the Christmas season. Maybe I'll take it in sometime. I'll start mapping out public restrooms now.

  2. "Oh what fun it is to ride...ermmm..." Glad you enjoyed the show! The theatre I work at did "Irving Berlins White Christmas" last year and I dreaded it. (darn near made me hate a holiday favorite) My Boss Stepped in as director and knew nothing of the 1954 movie other than the title... I was in a funk.. the sets were awful. Things didnt look right- costuming didnt care (The Hanyes sisters we in PINK rather than blue for "Sisters"- 'just for funzies' *sigh* now im just beign caddy- Hehe Shoot me an email and i'll let you on on lots of little misadventures during our run of the show! ;)

  3. What a fun remembrance! I'd love to see a stage version of WHITE CHRISTMAS, one of my all-time movie faves.

  4. Jacqueline,
    I've been dying to see it in New York, but every year I just never make it!

    Please do go see it; it's fun.

    Do tell me your story; I'll send a email.

    I didn't write about it here, but a surprisingly good change from the movie was the use of "Counting Sheep" with the General's granddaughter. Betty looks on as Bob sings the lullaby to the little girl. The leading lady [and the audience] can appreciate his family man qualities; you know they will end up together.


    I'm so grateful for national tours. I saw Topol - the one and only Tevye, in my estimation - in a national tour revival of Fiddler on the Roof. I must write about that experience at some point.

    Thanks everyone!

    - Java


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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