THE award-winning Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust Musicals recruited two of Merseyside’s leading choreographers for their outstanding musical version of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
it was superby choreographed by Nazene Langfield and Graeme Henderson, who have both appeared on London’s West End stage.
There’s snow busness like show business … indeed.
The society, now in its 90th year, is in sparkling form.
The sheer scale of their musicals conjure up the word ‘spectacular’ and I have said it before anything the West End can do they can match them for production values.
White Christmas is all about super troupers and BOST has plenty of them in front and behind the curtains.
With director Elsie Kelly and musical director Tricia Gaskell at the helm you know they will pull out all the stops.
Sets and costumes, yet again, are first class.
This is a show that has some cracking numbers including Blue Skies, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep and the title song.
I Love a Piano also hit all the right notes with the sell-out audience.
BOST Musicals display their considerable talents from individuals and entire ensemle.
The storyline remains a timeless one.
Two soldiers help out an ailing hotel in Vermont.
Loyalty, friendship , dreams and ambitions are key themes along with, of course, love.
Stalwart Tony Prince played Bob Wallace, the role made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1954 Paramount movie.
Bob is an all-round good guy and not only talented in the trenches of 1944 but on the stage alongside his de-mobbed double-act partner Phil Davis (that name sounds familiar) ten years later.
The characater is played with great enthusiasm by Chris Simmons. Danny Kaye was Phil in the classic, feel-good film.
Gina Phillips as Betty Haynes (sung and danced by Rosemary Clooney in the movie) joined Linzi Stefanov as younger sibling Judy.
Their rendition of the evergreen Sisters a highlight Medals, too, for old soldier Frank Nance as eager-to-serve again General Waverley with a commanding performance.
And full marks to Millie Kiss one of two talented young stars who alternated as savvy Susan the other being Sofia Lawton.
There’s also plenty of humour something BOST excel at.
There’s star-struck house-keeper, Martha Watson played by Pat Davies. Les Hampson’s Ralph Sheldrake – a TV executive for The Ed Sullivan Show and two bubbly chorus girls courtesy of Jessica Walter (Rita) and Elizabeth Beattie as Rhoda.
Carl Loughlin’s frantic stage manager Mike was consistently funny -shrieking the panic buttons for most of the show within a show theme.
And waiting in the wings for a snow-covered festive finale was aerial acrobat, high-flyer Kellie Giddman who made me feel giddy watching her her high-wire performance.
Thanks to a stellar cast and crew this White Christmas got everyone in the mood and it was only November.
Rating: Five Huge Snowflakes (STARS)