Next at the Paper Mill is the holiday musical, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will be directed by Marc Bruni, with choreography by Randy Skinner and musical direction by Steven Freeman. The cast features: James Clow (Bob Wallace), Tony Yazbeck (Phil Davis), Jill Paice (Betty Haynes), Meredith Patterson (Judy Haynes), Edward James Hyland (General Waverly) and Lorna Luft (Martha Watson). The show begins performances on Wednesday, November 16 and runs at the Millburn theater through Saturday, December 24.
Based on the beloved Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye film, this merry musical tells the tale of two famous song-and-dance men who stage a show in a scenic, snow-topped Vermont inn — and end up finding love with two singing sisters under the mistletoe. With laughter, crazy plot turns, Broadway-size production numbers and the unforgettable music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin, a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a brightly wrapped holiday gift.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. (Check the Paper Mill Playhouse website papermill.org for special holiday schedules.) Three and four show subscription packages are available, starting at $84. Single tickets are on sale from $25. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount on tickets and should call 973-315-1680. Investors Bank is the proud sponsor of Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2011-2012 season.
“We are thrilled to bring this cast of Broadway veterans to our stage,” remarked Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee. “There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than a trip to Paper Mill Playhouse to experience this holiday spectacle.”
DirectorMarc Bruni was theAssociate Director on 14 Broadway shows including Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and last year’s Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes. Bruni’slast staging atPaper Mill Playhouse was the critically acclaimed production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other directing credits include: Fanny (City Center Encores!), Ordinary Days (Roundabout), In the Mood (Berkshire Theatre Festival), and at St. Louis Muny: The Music Man (Kevin Kline Award nomination). ChoreographerRandy Skinner’sBroadway credits include:42nd Street (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire nominations), Ain’t Broadway Grand (Tony, Outer Critics nominations), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), State Fair (Outer Critics nomination), Lone Star Love (Lucille Lortel nomination). CityCenterEncores!: Do Re Mi, Of Thee I Sing, Face the Music and No, No, Nanette. London’s West End: Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical. The 2001 Tony Awards telecast (opening number).
James Clow plays Bob Wallace, stepping into the role Bing Crosby made famous. Clow was seen on Broadway in: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Assassins, WonderfulTown, Company, She Loves Me and Blood Brothers. Clow was last seen at Paper Mill Playhouse as George Bailey in A Wonderful Life. Tony Yazbeck portrays Phil Davis, the role played by Danny Kaye in the classic film. Yazbeck’s Broadway credits include: Chicago (Billy Flynn), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Phil Davis), Gypsy with Patti LuPone (Tulsa; Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), A Chorus Line (Al), Never Gonna Dance, Oklahoma!, and Gypsy with Tyne Daly.
Sisters Betty and Judy Haynes are played by Jill Paice and Meredith Patterson. Paice was seen on Broadway in: 39 Steps (Annabella/Pam/Margaret), A Little Night Music (Anne), Curtains (Niki Harris) and The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie). Patterson was seen on Broadway in: 42nd Street (Peggy), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Judy Haynes) and Irving Berlin’s Face the Music (Kit Baker)for City Center Encores! Edward James Hyland plays General Waverly. Hyland starred in several feature films including: The Happening, College RoadTrip, On the Hook, Trial By Fire andExpiration Date. On the New York stage, Hyland was featured in Arcadia, Festen, and Ah, Wilderness! at Lincoln Center.
As we reported last week Lorna Luft will play the role of Martha Watson. Lorna Luft’s acclaimed career has encompassed virtually every arena of entertainment. A celebrated concert performer, stage, film and television actress, best selling author, recording artist and Emmy nominated producer – she continues to triumph in every medium with critics labeling her one of the most vibrant, versatile and exciting artists on stage today. Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, music and entertainment was an integral part of her childhood. At age 11 she made her television debut singing on her mother’s series, The Judy Garland Show. At 16, already a seasoned performer, she shared the bill with her mom on Broadway in a fabled month-long concert engagement at New York’s famed Palace Theater.
By 19, she was stopping the show on her own; starring on Broadway in Neil Simon’s hit musical Promises, Promises. She continued on the New Yorkstage as Peppermint Patty in the musical Snoopy and then took a dramatic turn alongside Farrah Fawcett in Extremities. Lorna is a gifted live performer frequently featured as a concert artist at the world’s most prestigious venues including The Hollywood Bowl, MadisonSquareGarden, Carnegie Hall, The London Palladium, and L’Olympia in Paris. In films, she is most remembered by fans of all ages as Pink Lady “Paulette Rebchuck” in the camp classic Grease 2. In 1998, Lorna added a new dimension to her multi-faceted career, that of NY Times best-selling author upon the release of her critically acclaimed memoir — Me and My Shadows.
Peter Reardon (Ralph Sheldrake)appeared on Broadway in:Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Ralph Sheldrake), Urinetown (Lockstock/Bobby), Ragtime (Willie Conklin), Falsettos (Whizzer), Passion (Major Rizzolli), Meet Me in St. Louis (Warren Sheffield) and La Cage aux Folles (Jean-Michel). Anthony Reimer (Mike Nulty) has appeared on the New Yorkstage in New York credits include: Cactus Flower (Westside Theatre), Hamlet and Macbeth (NYCT). Cliff Bemis (Ezekiel)originated the role of Ezekiel/Snoring Man in the world premiere of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in San Francisco, as well as companies in Los Angeles, Detroit, and on Broadway.Andie Mechanicwas recently seen on Broadway in People in the Picture andwill portray the role of nine-year-old Susan Waverly.
Rounding out the Irving Berlin’s White Christmas cast are: Jacob ben Widmar, Laurie DiFilippo, Beth Glover, Luke Hawkins, Leeds Hill, Drew Humphrey, Bryan Thomas Hunt, Samantha Kelleher, Megan Kelley, Kristie Kerwin, Matthew J. Kilgore, Drew King, Pilar Millhollen,Beth Johnson Nicely,Kristyn Pope, Sara Michelle Reardon, Kelly Skidmore, Lauren Elaine Taylor, Anna Aimee White andJacob ben Widmar.
The design team includes: set design by Anna Louizos (Avenue Q, Curtains), costumes by Carrie Robbins (A Class Act), lighting design by Ken Billington (The Drowsy Chaperone, Annie), hair and wig design by Mark Adam Rampmeyer and sound design by Randy Hansen. The production stage manager is Peter Wolf.
PAPER MILLPLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country’s leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is provided by generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.