Review: “White Christmas” – Broadway Magazine
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Tickets for STARS 2000 Teen Theatre Company’s production of All Shook Up are now available.
Click here for complete show information including the cast list.
Eight performances only!
Friday, Jan 14 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 15 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan 16 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan 21 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 22 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan 23 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan 28 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 29 8:00 p.m.
All performances are at Los Lomas High School at 1460 S. Main Street, Walnut Creek.
For tickets call 925-324-7359 or click here to download the ticket order form for additional information. Ticket prices range from $12-$15.
Press Release: ‘All Shook Up’ The Elvis Fueled Broadway Musical Rides into Los Lomas High, January 14-29
Diablo Theatre Company
Formerly DLOC (Diablo Light Opera Company)
1948 Oak Park Boulevard
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 – (925) 944-1565
Diane Kamrin (925) 944-0900
All Shook Up
The Elvis Fueled Broadway Musical
Rides into Los Lomas High, January 14-29
Shakespeare meets James Dean, set to the music of Elvis Presley! Diablo Theatre Company’s STARS 2000 Teen Theatre Company is proud to present the 2005 Broadway hit, “All Shook Up” in January 2011. Combining favorite Elvis Presley songs with a surefire rock’n’roll story “All Shook Up” will ride into the Los Lomas High School Theatre in Walnut Creek, January 14-29.
The clever book by Joe DiPietro (Tony award-winning “Memphis”, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”) features 24 Presley classic hit songs including “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Burning Love”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “It’s Now or Never”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Hound Dog”, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, and “Fools Rush In”. The songs are unforgettable; the dancing is incredible! This well tuned hot-rod musical guarantees to have your entire family jumpin’ out of their blue suede shoes!
“All Shook Up”, loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, tells the story of a guitar playing roustabout, Chad, who rides into a struggling Midwest town and changes it forever with the power of love and rock-and-roll. The show is hilarious, fresh fun for all ages!
“All Shook Up” is produced by Ellen Smith and directed by Derek Travis Collard with musical direction and choreography by Diane Kamrin, and vocal direction by William Garcia Ganz. It features a cast of the best and brightest East Bay youth and ages 13-20.
Performances will be at Las Lomas High, 1460 S. Main St, Walnut Creek, for eight performances, January 14-29. Tickets are $12-15. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 925-324-7359. More information at www.diablotheatre.org
Magical White Christmas in Walnut Creek
By: Lee Hartgrave
IT’S SNOWING IN WALNUT CREEK. Well, at least at the Lesher Theatre Center. White Christmas, the Irving Berlin Song was such a huge hit by 1954 that it made perfect sense that they make a movie (White Christmas) around Berlin’s music. Now it is also a hit Broadway musical. The World premiere of the stage musical was at the Curran Theatre a couple of years ago. And has been playing around the country since.
The plot: Two soldiers get into show business after their tour of duty. The boys become famous, and they meet two sisters who are trying to work up to the fame ladder. There are enough sparks between the boys and the girls to actually melt the snowflakes. But the snow that they expected to find at a gig in a Vermont resort is snow-less. It’s an unusually 70 degrees. The boys did not know that the Inn — is now owned by their former World War II Commander. When they get to Vermont its seventy degrees. So, how are they going to put on a Christmas show without snow? That’s when the fun begins.
The plot line is pretty unbelievable – but who cares? It remains one of the most feel-good Christmas stories that you’ll ever see. The production numbers are sheer gloss. Think of Glee. The actor’s love of the show comes across like Candy Canes. They are having such fun up on that stage – and as a result the audience is smitten with the energy and kick-butt dancing.
Sure, it’s a sappy boy meets girls story line with predictable plot twists that reach out for sentiment and patriotism. But heck – with our many wars going on right now – I would say that this musical has a lot of sentiment for the young men and women who are putting themselves on the fighting line out there. I think it’s better than say – “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street”. All good, but “White Christmas” is warm and fuzzy throughout. I credit that to the wonderful Berlin Music.
This White Christmas is evocatively art-directed and sensationally costumed. But then, how could it miss with a talented cast that has perfect timing and amazing singing. Not only is this an impassioned melodrama, it also is a good and honest look at love. I’d say that this show is ridiculously great! If there’s a better holiday musical than this merry show – I’ll be surprised.
This is a wonderful production. You need to see it. It charms and delights thanks to the following Actors and Cast:
SOME OF THE CAST OF THOUSANDS: Jeffrey Wallace (Bob Wallace) – amazing sweet voice. Christopher M. Nelson (Ralph Sheldrake – Quintet). Sharon Rietkerk (Judy Haynes) – Charms and delights. Nancy Sale (Martha Watson) – A Comedy Surprise. Alicia Teeter (Betty Haynes) – a Big Hearted performance. Dan Cawthon (General Henry Waverly) – Bravura performance. Larry Crummer (Jimmy) He lights up the boards, smiling all the time. Remember the Cigarette girl? Well – she’s on stage hawking them –Maggie Kelly Connard takes you back to another era. What fun! Stephen Perez (Phil Davis) – the wise cracking actor gives an offbeat, big-hearted performance.
I’m not kidding when I say that the show has a cast of thousands. If you thought ‘A Chorus Line’ had lots of dancing – wait until you see this. And for that — we thank all THE EXTRAORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE ENSEMBLE. THEY ARE REMARKABLE! THEY BRING TO THE STAGE EVERYTHING HOLLYWOOD’S FORGOTTEN HOW TO DO!
AND WHAT WOULD A ‘BIG’ SHOW BE WITHOUT THE ‘FANTASTICAL ELEMENTS’ OF CONDUCTING BY ‘G. SCOTT LACY’? HE BRINGS EVERYTHING TO A STIRRING CRESCENDO!
AT THE LESHER THEATRE CENTER IN WALNUT CREEK
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked-
Curtain Calls: It’s a Patsy Cline Weekend at the Lesher
By: Sally Hogarty
Columnist, Walnut Creek Journal, Lafayette Sun, Concord Transcript
Posted: 12/01/2010 10:30:01 AM PST
Excerpt: Diablo Theatre Company is currently presenting its first “White Christmas” at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. And, if you don’t already have a ticket, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until next year, because the show sold out before opening night.
Based on the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and dance sensation Vera-Ellen, the musical follows a successful song-and-dance team who become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont Inn of their former commanding general. Beginning on Christmas Eve in 1944 and then jumping to 1954, this patriotic charmer paints a heartwarming holiday picture with just enough humor to keep it from getting too sentimental. It features songs such as “Blue Skies,” “How Deep is the Ocean” and, of course, “White Christmas.”
Directed by Marilyn Langbehn, DTC’s production found a quartet of talented performers — Jeffrey Adams, Stephen Perez, Alicia Teeter and Sharon Rietkerk — who had no problem making the lead roles their own. A large multitalented ensemble that can certainly tap up a storm ably supports them, with Dan Cawthon (the general) giving a nuanced performance and Nancy Sale (the inn’s concierge) adding many a comic moment. While some of the songs were less than memorable, others had me applauding choreographer Suzanne Brandt for her intricate routines.
If you missed the show this year, be sure and get your tickets early for next Christmas. For information on next year’s production, go to www.diablotheatre.org.
Click here for the complete article.
By: Lois Hodges
December 1, 2010
Braving the cold and wet I made my way to the beautiful Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California, where it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The Diablo Theater Company was presenting Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” and it seemed like the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
A blue velvet curtain dusted with a sprinkling of snowflakes greeted audience members and soon the nostalgic strains of “White Christmas” were filling the theater. The 1954 Paramount movie of the same name, with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen was the impetus behind this Broadway “revival,” which premiered here in San Francisco in 2004. Opening to mixed reviews in its subsequent limited engagement Broadway run, “White Christmas” is an enjoyable holiday stocking stuffer filled with nostalgia and sweetness.
The story revolves around WWII army buddies, Bob Wallace (Jeffrey Adams) and Phil Davis (Stephen Perez) who say goodbye to their old commander, General Henry Waverly (Dan Cawthon) and make their way toward a very successful show business career together. Adams is charming as the somewhat cynical Bob Wallace while Perez takes on the role of skirt-chasing Phil Davis with aplomb. The shenanigans begin when they are sent by another old army buddy, Sheldrake (Christopher M. Nelson), to check out a sister act.
Phil immediately falls for sister Judy Haynes (Sharon Reitkerk) while the more standoffish Bob clashes with Betty (Alicia Teeter). It’s the perfect meet cute and even though we know how it will end, it’s still fun to take the ride. Phil manages to trick Bob into following the sisters to their singing engagement in what is supposed to be snow-filled Vermont (a hot spell ruins that) for the Christmas Eve show. There they find that their former commander is the proprietor of the inn where the girls are slated to perform – only things aren’t going too well for the general turned businessman. The inn is about to go under.
Reitkerk and Teeter make a great sister team while Teeter’s smoldering solo number, “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me,” was a definite highlight. Dan Cawthon puts in a wonderfully delightful performance as the irascible, yet kindly former general trying to make a go of things in the civilian world. He is joined by marvelous character actress Nancy Sale in the role of Martha Watson, the inn’s manager and eventual love interest of the general. Sale serves up much of the humor in “White Christmas,” her tart tongue and nosiness providing one of the major turning points in the show.
As Phil and Bob work to save the inn and their former general’s reputation, singing, dancing and love ensue. “Sisters,” “Snow,” “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” the glorious “Let Yourself Go” and the well-known “Blue Skies” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” compliment the big finale reprise of “White Christmas.” Some problems with sound and lighting did not diminish the fun but the orchestra pit was reduced to a small opening stage right, which reduced the stereo effect that a larger opening would have afforded. The big moment when the barn doors open and the snow begins to fall could have used the addition of an outdoor backdrop of pine trees and perhaps a winding country road but nothing could diminish the strains of Irving Berlin’s marvelous catalog and his signature song, “White Christmas” in this holiday offering.
Diablo Theatre Company’s production of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”
Book by David Ives
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 4
WHERE: Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
INFORMATION: 925-943-7469 or www.diablotheatre.org
Director: Marilyn Langbehn
Choreographer: Suzanne Brandt
Musical Director: G. Scott Lacy