Fal­lon House Stages ‘White Christ­mas’

Riverbank News - - PERSPECTIVE -

SONORA — Sierra Repertory The­atre is proud to present the eighth pro­duc­tion in their 2017 Sea­son. Irv­ing Ber­lin’s White Christ­mas, plays Nov. 3 to Dec. 17, at the his­toric Fal­lon House The­atre in Columbia State Park.

Sierra Rep pre­sented White Christ­mas in 2007 and 2010, pre­vi­ously di­rected and chore­ographed by Scott Vi­ets (SRT’s Pro­duc­ing Artis­tic Direc­tor). This new pro­duc­tion will be di­rected by SRT fa­vorite, Jerry Lee (Man of La Man­cha, The Drowsy Chap­er­one). The pro­duc­tion will be chore­ographed by Zoe Swen­son-Gra­ham (Noises Off!, Cyrano [Fight Choreographer]), with mu­sic di­rec­tion by Mark Siever (Sis­ter Act, The Rob­ber Bride­groom).

Based on the beloved, time­less film, this heart­warm­ing mu­si­cal adap­ta­tion fea­tures 17 Irv­ing Ber­lin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veter­ans Bob Wal­lace ( Jor­dan Cyphert) and Phil Davis (Chaz Feuer­s­tine) have a suc­cess­ful song-and-dance act af­ter World War II. With ro­mance in mind, the two fol­low a duo of beau­ti­ful singing sis­ters (Han­nah Zil­ber and Fiona McIn­tyre) en route to their Christ­mas show at a Ver­mont lodge, which just hap­pens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s for­mer army com­man­der (Ty Smith). The daz­zling score fea­tures well known stan­dards in­clud­ing Blue Skies, I Love A Pi­ano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the peren­nial fa­vorite, White Christ­mas.

“White Christ­mas is high mu­si­cal the­atre,” says direc­tor Jerry Lee. “They say that when you’re putting on a mu­si­cal, half the bat­tle is won by hav­ing a good cast. I took my time cast­ing this show and, boy, am I glad I did. We have an all-star cast!” In the iconic roles played by Bing Crosby, Rose­mary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Danny Kaye, SRT is proud to wel­come four ter­rific ac­tors all mak­ing their SRT de­buts: Jor­dan Cyphert* as Bob Wal­lace, Han­nah Zil­ber as Betty Haynes, Chaz Feuer­s­tine* as Phil Davis, and Fiona McIn­tyre as Judy Haynes. SRT Com­pany Mem­ber, Ty Smith, reprises his role as Gen­eral Waverly. Re­turn­ing to SRT is yet an­other au­di­ence fa­vorite, Jan Leigh Hern­don* (The Drowsy Chap­er­one, Thor­oughly Mod­ern Mil­lie) as the love­ably nosy Martha Wat­son. Paul Henry (Sis­ter Act) and Zack Has­bany ( Joseph..., State Fair) re­turn as the neb­bish Ralph Shel­drake and over­wrought Mike Nulty re­spec­tively. Ruby James is sure to de­light as Gen. Waverly’s pre­co­cious grand­daugh­ter, Su­san.

The bevy of Broad­way Cho­rus Kids in­cludes An­nali Fuchs-Wack­owski, Lu­cas Michael Chandler, Carolyn Keller, Fiona Mow­bray, Justin Goei, Natalie Gra­ham, Jesse Gra­ham, and Kyle Comp­ton. Don Biloti* (A Columbia Christ­mas Carol) plays Ezekiel Fos­ter, the ul­ti­mate tac­i­turn New Eng­lan­der.

“I think of this show as be­ing a con­tem­po­rary fairy tale,” says Lee. “They live in a world where, on a whim, they can pull a group of Broad­way singer-dancers to Ver­mont to put on a ma­jor pro­duc­tion in a mat­ter of five days. Or, through a com­edy of er­rors, in­for­ma­tion is mis­in­ter­preted and de­stroys a fledg­ling ro­mance. Of course, all is put right and the char­ac­ters are cer­tain to have a happy end­ing. Telling and retelling well-loved sto­ries is one of my fa­vorite pas­times. I love the chal­lenge of find­ing ways to freshen up what we know and ex­plore a story through con­tem­po­rary eyes.”

This new pro­duc­tion is sure to daz­zle au­di­ences with scenic de­signs by Josh Roscoe, cos­tumes by Re­becca Mered­ith, light­ing de­sign by Mike Sali, and prop­er­ties by Matt Sweet­land; all res­i­dent man­agers/de­sign­ers at Sierra Repertory The­atre.

Photo con­trib­uted

Part of the cast of ‘White Christ­mas’ open­ing Nov, 3 at the Fal­lon House in Columbia.

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